National Pharmacy Technician Day
Celebrated on the third Tuesday of October every year, National Pharmacy Technician Day is an observance day in which people are encouraged to thank their pharmacy technicians for the contributions they make throughout the year. Pharmacy technicians help to create an efficient and extremely important part of the health care system, and as a result, deserve all of the accolades that they receive on this day.
The History of National Pharmacy Technician Day
This holiday was submitted by Lindsey Ahrens for approval with the National Day Committee in 2015. It’s a day that was subsequently endorsed by the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council (PTEC), and the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT). It’s also endorsed by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). This observance day also coincides with National Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Week.
The History of Pharmacies
The history of pharmacies goes back thousands of years. This is such an ancient industry, it’s immortalized in Greek legends. In one legend, Asclepius, the god of the healing arts, gave Hygieia the duty of making his medicines. In other words, she was the first pharmacist.
Pharmacies not only operated in ancient Greece but also in Egypt and Rome as well. In Egypt, the role of the pharmacy technician was fulfilled by physician priests. Some of these physician-priests visited the sick and some of them compounded medicines in the temple.
In ancient Greece, there were doctors, but there were also herbalists, and there was a distinct line separating those two professions from one another. However, the herbalist didn’t prepare the medicines; all they did was provide the physician with the raw materials, and they prepared them.
During the 8th century, Arabian influence brought to Europe a greater degree of specialization, and this further separated the duties of the physician and the pharmacist. Eventually, the distinction between pharmacists and physicians was reinforced by law.
In the United States, Benjamin Franklin made sure that the role of pharmacists was kept separate from physicians. He did this by appointing a full-time apothecary to the Pennsylvania Hospital. That’s why the roles of doctors and pharmacists are two separate professions in the U.S. to this day.
As the pharmaceutical industry began to take off after World War II, the role of the pharmacists changed as well. The need for them to compound their own extemporaneous medicines diminished as they began to prepare the medicines delivered by the pharmaceutical industry to their customers. Today, pharmacists are tasked with the duty of providing their customers with information and medicinal advice, filling the medicine, and ensuring the quality and efficacy of the dispensed medicines.
Observing National Pharmacy Technician Day
There are many ways to observe this holiday, but the most popular way is to simply thank a pharmacy technician who fills your medicine. A person who wants to observe this holiday can also use social media to thank their favorite technician. This is done by using the hashtag #RxTechDay on their favorite social media site.