Magazine article Drug Topics

NABP Calls for Pharmacist-Credentialing Coalition

Magazine article Drug Topics

NABP Calls for Pharmacist-Credentialing Coalition

Article excerpt

With events at the state level outracing the profession, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has called on other groups to join a coalition to forge a national system to credential pharmacists in pharmaceutical care.

Credentialing pharmacists took on new urgency when Mississippi was granted a Medicaid waiver by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to pay for disease state management. In return, Medicaid officials want to be assured that participating pharmacists are qualified. The resulting credentialing job has fallen to the state pharmacy board, which enlisted NABP to come up with an assessment exam by July 1 (see Drug Topics, June 1).

An exam for Mississippi is just the first step on the road to a national pharmacist-credentialing model by NABP, said executive director Carmen Catizone. Speaking at NABP's annual meeting last month, he told attendees that what's happening in Mississippi is a spur to development of a national system other states could use.

"We will extend an invitation to all interested organizations to join us to create the greatest coalition of pharmacy groups ever assembled," he said. "We envision an expansive coalition that will draw from the strengths of every group to develop standards, accredit education programs, assess the knowledge and performance capabilities of practitioners, and credential pharmacists. We will have an opportunity to develop a national system to allow practitioners to be credentialed in one state through a rigorous, objective, and legally defensible process and have that credentialing recognized across state lines. We will not need to develop 50 or more processes for credentialing pharmacists and validating their knowledge and skills in disease state management. A national system will eliminate the creation of proprietary programs that often divide the profession, are not understood by the public, and cannot be verified or accepted by the boards of pharmacy as meeting the requirements of the states. …

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