A lot has changed for pharmacies in the last thirty-five years. Since the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) was launched by the American Pharmacists Association in 1976, the world of pharmacy certification is now expanding.
While the BPS is the best known and first certifying body, other certification programs have been developed, such as the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP) program launched in 1997 by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. Now the pharmacy certification world is getting more crowded.
The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB) is developing the Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP) credential. This new certification program is expected to launch in early 2013 to help pharmacists differentiate themselves and provide better healthcare.
Because there is nothing that really distinguishes specialty pharmacists from other types of practice, creating this new certification wasn’t an easy task, said Gary M. Cohen, BS Pharm, founder and head of the SPCB. “Specialty providers, suppliers and pharmacists have a common interest in validating specialty pharmacy knowledge and skills,” he added.
Specialty pharmacists practice in retail, independent, hospital, chain pharmacies and more, and deal with difficult-to-treat conditions such as cancer, hepatitis C, HIV, immune deficiencies, and other conditions that require advance levels of pharmaceutical care.
Interestingly enough, only 13,000 pharmacists of the nation’s 275,000 pharmacists hold any kind of BPS certification. Consumers should be aware that certifications help validate a pharmacist’s competency and can help them determine which pharmacist has specialty pharmaceutical skills.
Our pharmacy error lawyers at Kennedy Hodges will bring you the latest about board certification as more develops.