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Albertsons Cos. and the Washington State University (WSU), with permission from the Idaho Board of Pharmacy, have developed the first pilot program in the United States to expand patient access to healthcare services through immunization training for pharmacy technicians.
The Idaho Pharmacy Technician Immunization Training Pilot has led to the first law to allow technicians the expanded capability and to an Albertsons Cos. pharmacy technician being the first technician in the nation to administer an immunization. Created by the WSU College of Pharmacy to address some of society’s most complex issues, the pilot specifically deals with efforts surrounding developing practical solutions to challenging problems in healthcare delivery, healthcare access and disease prevention.
The pilot started in December 2016, with WSU working with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and Idaho Board of Pharmacy. Through a shared connection, Albertsons became engaged in the program and provided a grant to develop and deliver the four-hour professional education to interested pharmacy technicians in Spokane, Wash., and Boise, Idaho.
"Pharmacy technicians are integral to our business," said Mark Panzer, SVP of pharmacy, health and wellness for the Boise-based retailer. "We are proud to embrace the changing role of pharmacy technicians and partner with WSU to expand access to health services in Idaho. We couldn't be prouder than when our very own Samantha Thompson, a Safeway Pharmacy Technician in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, became the first pharmacy technician in the country to administer an immunization."
In March 2017, this pilot prompted the state of Idaho to pass a law, the first of its kind in the United States, to allow Idaho pharmacy technicians to undergo the pharmacy board-approved training to administer immunizations to pharmacy patients. More training is currently planned for other technicians in Idaho who are interested in pursuing this additional responsibility.
Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under 19 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.