CA Board of Pharmacy Adopts Advanced Practice Pharmacist Certification

As of August 10, 2016, pharmacists in California may now seek certification as an Advanced Practice Pharmacist (APP). This regulation has been long awaited since the passage of the corresponding legislation in 2013. The 2013 bill created the APP designation which is required for community pharmacists to obtain in order to qualify to participate in collaborative practice agreements. The 2013 bill also expanded all pharmacists’ scope of practice by creating statewide protocols under which pharmacists can “furnish” (a.k.a. prescribe) certain products including self administered contraceptives, immunizations, travel medications, smoking cessation therapy and naloxone.

Here’s a snapshot of the criteria that were finalized in order for pharmacists to become an APP:

For a pharmacist seeking to demonstrate certification in general clinical pharmacy as a criterion for advanced practice pharmacist licensure by the board, the certification must be ACPE or NCCA accredited:

  1. The certification program includes specified learning objectives in at least five sequentially-ordered education modules, covering the following topics:
    1. performing patient assessments
    2. ordering and interpreting drug therapy-related tests
    3. referring patients to other health care providers
    4. participating in the evaluation and management of diseases and health conditions in collaboration with other health care providers
    5. initiating, adjusting, modifying or discontinuing drug therapy
  2. Examination after completion of each module confirming the participant’s understanding, knowledge, and application of the learning objectives.
  3. Instruction and assessment must be provided by a board-licensed APP or a SOP faculty member qualified to teach the specific module.
  4. Passing score on the final overall assessment.
  5. Minimum of 10 hours of CE (in the 5 areas above) every 2 years.

Although this requirement is more stringent that what is seen in most other states in order for pharmacists to enter into a collaborative practice agreement, it does allow for a pathway for community pharmacists in California to enter into a collaborative practice agreement (previously restricted to institution-based pharmacists).

To read the full regulation click below.

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