People in Your Pharmacy

There are both professionals and staff personnel working in the pharmacy, each with distinct roles and responsibilities outlined below. The people working in the pharmacy can often be identified by their name tags.


Pharmacists

Your pharmacist is a highly-educated, trusted member of your family’s health care team. Pharmacists are professionally trained individuals held to a high standard of practice. Pharmacists must:

  • Complete at least four to five years of university-level pharmacy education before registering
  • Train and become qualified in all aspects of handling medications, including:
    • Dispensing prescription and non-prescription medications
    • Drug therapy
    • Understanding drug interactions and side-effects
  • Train in the principles of good pharmaceutical care including patient counselling and care
  • Understand all health care and pharmacy laws governing pharmaceuticals, pharmacists/technicians roles and pharmacy operations
  • Speak at least one of Ontario’s official languages —English or French— fluently and be qualified to counsel patients in that language
  • Complete provincial and national examinations on pharmacy practice and applicable pharmacy laws and standards for pharmacists
  • Maintain a continuing education portfolio and participate in the lifelong quality assurance program

As an Ontario pharmacist in good standing, your pharmacist follows:

  • All legal requirements necessary to operate as an Ontario health professional including professional conduct rules, patient care and confidentiality
  • The Standards of Practice for pharmacists as set by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA)
  • The Code of Ethics as set by the Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • All legal requirements for practising in and/or operating a pharmacy

Persons calling themselves pharmacists in Ontario who are not registered with the College will be prosecuted accordingly.



Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians officially became regulated healthcare professionals in Ontario in December 2010. Pharmacy technicians play an important role with respect to product preparation and support pharmacists so they are able to provide more comprehensive patient care services to the public. Pharmacy technicians must:

  • Complete an accredited pharmacy technician education program before registering with the College
  • Train and become qualified in applicable aspects of handling medications, including dispensing prescription and non-prescription medications
  • Train in the principles of good pharmaceutical care
  • Understand applicable healthcare and pharmacy laws governing pharmaceuticals, pharmacists/technicians roles and pharmacy operations
  • Speak at least one of Ontario’s official languages—English or French— fluently
  • Complete provincial and national examinations on pharmacy practice and applicable pharmacy laws and standards for pharmacy technicians

As an Ontario pharmacy technician in good standing, your pharmacy technician follows:

  • All legal requirements necessary to operate as an Ontario health professional including professional conduct rules, patient care and confidentiality
  • The Standards of Practice for Pharmacy Technicians as set by National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities
  • The Code of Ethics as set by the Ontario College of Pharmacists
  • All legal requirements for practising in and/or operating a pharmacy

Persons calling themselves pharmacy technicians in Ontario who are not registered with the College will be prosecuted accordingly.


Pharmacy Assistants/Cashiers/Drivers/Stock People, etc.

Often, other staff work in or near the pharmacy area. It is important to know that these staff operate under the supervision of the pharmacist or pharmacy technician, and must maintain the confidentiality of all patient information that is received in the pharmacy. Staff may include pharmacy assistants, cashiers, drivers, stock people, etc.


Finding a Pharmacist or Pharmacy Technician

Information regarding individual pharmacies and pharmacists or pharmacy technicians can be found on Find a Pharmacy or Pharmacy Professional.