News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Pharmacy Technicians Taking Their Careers To New Heights

Pharmacy technicians play an essential role in the safe delivery of medications to patients in community pharmacies and in hospitals throughout New Zealand.

Tuesday 19 October 2021 is Pharmacy Technician Day. This year the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand is promoting the career opportunities that pharmacy technicians enjoy as part of the wider pharmacy team.

A new accreditation programme developed by the Pharmaceutical Society for the Ministry of Health and Health Workforce New Zealand in recent years means that pharmacy technicians can now complete extra training and move into Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician (PACT) roles.

Being a PACT, means a technician can do the final check of medications being dispensed. The role provides technicians with more challenge and responsibility and allows pharmacists to spend more time with patients.

Tania Lorenzen, PACT at Waitakere Hospital explains why being a PACT is so enjoyable. “I’m never bored. Every day is different. I find it challenging and rewarding.”

“It’s rewarding because every day I can see that I’m helping people. My PACT role frees up time for the pharmacists, enabling them to do more clinical work with the patients and doctors on the wards. So, I feel like an important part of the team.”

According to Sarah Marshall, PACT at Olsen’s Pharmacy in Greymouth, “The biggest expansion in my role is working as a PACT. I love it and I know the pharmacists love it as well.”

Sonya Scrimshaw, Pharmacy Technician at Life Pharmacy North City in Porirua says her role has changed a lot since she first started as a technician. “I’m doing a lot bigger variety of things and spending more time with customers.”

Ms Scrimshaw who was the winner of the Community Pharmacy Technician of the Year at the New Zealand Primary Healthcare Awards 2021, says “I’m officially second in charge now, so I have more say on how things are run.”

A career as a pharmacy technician can take you in many different directions. As Nicola Rowlands, Pharmacy Technician (Clinical Trials) at Tauranga Hospital explains, “I started working as a technician in the hospital, restocking drug rooms and working in the dispensary.”

“I then moved to the pharmacy aseptic production unit (compounding chemotherapy drugs). Since then, I’ve moved to working on clinical trials for oncology and haematology patients.”

Recently, Ms Rowlands has been offered a job at a private cancer care unit. She will be the first pharmacy technician ever hired by the private company.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland