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Aiming for the Apex

Donna J Thordsen, Jan M Keresztes, Harvey AK Whitney Jr

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For its proper position in health care, pharmacy has been aiming for decades for the apex in recognition of what the profession can offer the public. With the evolution of clinical pharmacy, ever-increasing advances in technologies, and medication research developments, pharmacy personnel now feel the increasing pressure to perform in stressful environments. The number of new medications and the resultant increase in the number of prescriptions has exploded in the marketplace, leaving pharmacists overwhelmed with their workload. To ease this situation, pharmacists turned to individuals who had been their “helpers” for a long time. These individuals, the pharmacy technicians, have been assisting with various tasks for many years. It is only recently that technicians began a focused role in medication processing.

   It was more than 65 years ago—the mid-1940s—that the US Army began training recruits to become pharmacy technicians with a formalized educational process. In the civilian population at that time, individuals wanting to be pharmacy technicians were trained on-the-job. In 1972, as the need for more consistent technician training became evident, 2 facilities, the University of Cincinnati and Oakland Community College in Michigan, introduced college-level pharmacy technician courses. In 1978, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) established a separate membership category for the pharmacy technicians. Within the next few years, the ASHP developed accreditation criteria to recognize facilities offering quality education and training for pharmacy technicians.

   As the evolution continued, California established the Association of Pharmacy Technicians (APT) in 1979, which rapidly grew to a national organization. During the APT’s second annual meeting in 1984, a proposal was made by Harvey Whitney Jr. to create an official journal for the APT organization. Thus, the journal of Pharmacy Technology began its publication in January 1985.

   More than just a magazine with brief, superficial articles, jPT was to serve as a peer-reviewed conduit for indepth information relevant to pharmacy practice. Over the years, jPT presented material for pharmacists as well as technicians, ranging from reviews and research on drugs to technician-related pharmacy practice. News, announcements, textbook reviews, and various other topics also were included. The attempt was made to achieve a balance between material useful for technicians at their current level of practice and information that challenged them to progress in their careers. During this period, pharmacy technician certification became more widely available to recognize technicians who had mastered the baseline knowledge.

   As the APT membership increased, the organization decided to publish its own official journal. Harvey continued jPT as the voice of the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council (PTEC), which was founded in 1989. The establishment of the original PTEC website was also supported by Harvey; the PTEC now maintains their site.

   As with all other aspects of pharmacy practice, jPT will now undergo a transition. Harvey has decided to transfer the role of publisher of jPT to SAGE, a global publishing firm with offices near Los Angeles, and in Washington, DC; London; New Delhi; and Singapore. SAGE, founded in 1965, is an independent international publisher of more than 700 journals. The company strongly believes that dissemination of education is paramount to creating a healthy society, and we believe this as well.

   SAGE is committed to the success of the journal. Although the publisher has changed, the goals that have driven the journal remain unchanged. Furthermore, jPT will have the support and resources available to all SAGE Publications, as well as the staff to assist in achieving this seamless transition.

   Moving from Associate Editor to Editor, Gene Sorkin PharmD will maintain the journal’s support for the pharmacy profession. In addition to the quality research and reviews applicable to the entire profession, the advances of technicians can be highlighted with articles on education, certification, and practice. We thank you for your support of jPT; we are certain that the journal will continue to serve as a valuable resource in your practice.

   Please note that our contact numbers for phone, email, and website queries or submissions have been changed.

J Pharm Technol 2013;29:159-60

Harvey Whitney Books

Harvey Whitney Books


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