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Should a Pharmacy Technician be penalized along with a Pharmacist for largely dispensed Narcotics or Controlled Substances in general? How does a Pharmacy Technician know the legally accepted amount of Narcotics to be dispensed per month or per year from a Pharmacy? How does a Pharmacy Technician know when a Pharmacy is about to exceed the acceptable amount? How can a Pharmacy Technician prevent such situation from happening?

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Christopher S. Moore
Oncology & Inpatient - BS, AS, AA, CPhT-Adv, CSPT, NREMT-R

The pharmacy technician's role (generally-speaking) is to support and assist the pharmacist.  To know what the legal narcotic limits are, I would refer first to my pharmacist(s) and then (if the answer is not clear) to my state Board of Pharmacy with such a question or even the federal D.E.A.  

The types of narcotics and their doses can range and vary tremendously dependent on the patient and their situation.  Ultimately, it is up to the prescribing physician and the pharmacist that he/she is working with to make the right call.  You should always voice a concern if you think the amount being dispensed is too high.

That being said, unless the technician is actively and knowingly participating in non-legal activities, I believe that the technician (acting in good-faith) should not be legally responsible in that they are not the responsible provider or final-dispenser and the existence of respondeant superiores (respondeat superior) or "let the master answer" in which the technician and their actions (physical dispensing / selling filled-prescriptions) is under the agreement of regular course of duties between the employee and employer.

A good D.E.A. reference is here:

https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/drug_of_abuse.pdf31

I feel like this could go either way.  I do think the technician bears some responsibility.  We are responsible for knowing the laws.  If there is ever anything that appears abnormal to me, I always refer to my pharmacist for clarification.  Some of that will also come with experience.  I think it should be up to the state board to determine fault in those types of situations.