New Certificate Launched To Fill Pharmacy Technician Demand

Blue Bell, Pa.—Pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent through 2022—nine percent higher than the average growth rate for all occupations nationally according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. The demand holds true in Pennsylvania as well; the Commonwealth is ranked fourth among states in the number of pharmacy technicians currently employed.

To help fill the demand in this growing field, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is introducing a Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion program this fall. Classes are held Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. starting Oct. 4 and ending Dec. 20 at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Program tuition is $1,638. To learn more, visit, select areas of study, health sciences, and career training programs or call 215-641-6374.

MCCC’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion program is comprised of 55 hours of classroom instruction along with Health 21, a 21-hour online component that provides an overview of the health care industry. Students are required to complete homework assignments, as well as mid-term and final exams. Upon successful completion, graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health care professionals. Fifty-three percent of technicians are employed in pharmacies and drug stores, with others employed in hospitals, general merchandise and grocery stores, and ambulatory health care services. Positions may be full or part time and often include evenings and weekends.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reports that candidates with formal training or prior experience have the best opportunity for employment as pharmacy technicians. In 2012, the median salary for pharmacy technicians was $29,320 nationally.

Free National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Tri-County Community Network Supports Drug Enforcement Administration

Pottstown, Pa. (October 20, 2011) – The Tri-County Community Network (TCN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, social and environmental conditions in Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties, is renewing support this month for efforts by area law enforcement agencies to collect unused prescription drugs, taking them out of the hands of youth and helping to protect public water supplies, as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Casey Jones, a member of TCN’s Education & Advocacy Team and the C.A.R.E. committee, said the organization is promoting positive response by its members and their communities to the 3rd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 29, at various area locations.

Law enforcement agencies will be supervising free, no-questions-asked collection of unused prescription drugs, often found accumulating in home medicine cabinets and drawers, at several community locations, including designated supermarkets and pharmacies.

Collection sites within the Greater Pottstown area include:

  • Pottstown – Giant Food Store, 86 Glocker Way, Pottstown (North Coventry Police) and Lower Pottsgrove Police Department, 2199 Buchert Road
  • Birdsboro – Birdsboro Pharmacy Parking Lot, 310 West Main Street
  • Gilbertsville – Giant Markets, 173 Holly Road (Douglass Township Police)
  • Phoenixville – Borough Hall, 140 Church Street, and Giant Food Store at 700 Nutt Road
  • Schwenksville – Pennsylvania State Police – Skippack Barracks, 2047-C Bridge Road
  • Zieglerville – Lower Frederick Township Police, 53 Spring Mount Road
  • Oaks – Upper Providence Township Police, 286 Black Rock Road

Individuals also may drop off prescription drugs at other locations found at the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back website at

Jones, a families advocate who undertakes community outreach as part of the Transformation Initiative for Building Healthy Communities Through Healthy Families, said the national collection program complements a significant number of TCN’s own collaborative initiatives in the areas of health, education, environmental awareness, youth and family development, assistance to caregivers, and homelessness.

“Prescription drugs have become a new drug of choice for youth,” he said, noting that national survey results from the DEA found one in seven teens admitting to abusing prescription drugs to get high during the past year, with 60 percent of teens who have abused prescription pain relievers having done so before the age of 15.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned that unused prescriptions, poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet, may enter streams and rivers and, ultimately, end up in municipal water supplies.

In addition to promoting proper disposal of unused prescription drugs, TCN is seeking to educate the public, including children, about the dangers associated with un-prescribed use of medicines.  It will be providing posters and other materials to its members and the public for distribution to and education of individuals, employees and clients.

During the last National Prescription Drug Take Back in April 2011, over a half ton of unused prescription drugs were collected in both Montgomery and Chester counties, reflecting over 12.5% of the total state-wide collection total.

Members of the public who would like to promote this activity with posters or handbills, that also can be used as church bulletin inserts, may obtain them from TCN at

Additional information about the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day initiative, along with the searchable database of collection sites in neighboring areas and nationally, is available at