Detente

Article excerpt

Pharmacy

groups make

nice on R.Ph.

credentialing

Hold onto your spatulas, pharmacists. It looks like the profession's heavy hitters are finally inching toward detente on the contentious issue of credentialing for pharmaceutical care.

The American Pharmaceutical Association's executive committee unanimously agreed last month to accept an invitation to sit on the governing board of the National Institute for Standards in Pharmacist Credentialing (NISPC). The addition of APhA was welcomed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), which created NISPC last June. The goal was to help Mississippi R.Ph.s become credentialed in four disease states in order to be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.

"There has been some concern from other pharmacy groups about the involvement of community pharmacy and pharmacy boards, so we wanted to broaden [NISPC]," said Todd Dankmyer, NCPA's senior v.p.-communications. "Since APhA represents folks in all sectors, we thought they were best suited to represent those other players."

Even APhA's simultaneous announcement of two other credentialing efforts didn't set off the usual alarm bells. Along with six other pharmacy organizations, APhA unveiled the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy (CCP) and an entirely separate certification body to administer a skills and knowledge assessment for generalist practitioners in patient care. The CCP will initially be chaired by ASHP executive v.p. Henri Manasse Jr. and administered by the staff of the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties.

The APhA-led CCP was met with some confusion on the part of founding NISPC members. Carmen Catizone, NABP's executive director, agreed with NCPA's Dankmyer and NACDS' senior v.p.-pharmacy policy and operations, Kurt Proctor, that APhA's announcement left them puzzled. "They obviously have plans to do other things, but it's not clear what they are," said Dankmyer. "I just hope everyone can stay on track and basically work together on this."

Proctor added, "From what we can tell, it's not competition. We're not going to spend time getting mired in association politics." And Catizone commented, "I'm a bit confused, but if they're going to organize an effort for all the associations to work together and for us to have one system for credentialing and recognizing post-licensure competence and abilities, then NABP is all in favor of that."

Joining NISPC's governing board will make it easier for APhA to understand what's happening inside that coalition, said Lucinda Maine, APhA senior v. …