Board Official Bewails Emasculation of R.Ph. License
McCann, Brian, Drug Topics
A state license may soon not be enough to practice pharmacy, although no federal or state law says otherwise.
Frank Wickham, executive director of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, said the reason is, for some reimbursements, certain industry-driven accreditation beyond state licenses is needed.
And state boards of pharmacy are powerless to stop the trend. Only the state legislature has any power over accreditation in the private health-care sector, Wickham told a session at the Ninth Annual Supermarket Pharmacy Conference in San Diego last month.
Who's pushing expanded accreditation requirements? Businesses, for one, Wickham said. For instance, Cardinal Healthcare, which recently bought Medicine Shoppe International, is setting up a system, using a committee of health maintenance organizations, insurers, and other health professionals, to grant certificates to pharmacists who work in Medicine Shoppe outlets.
Businesses are not alone. Professional organizations, such as the American Pharmaceutical Association, have been exploring certification of general practitioners, Wickham said.
Nonprofit corporations such as Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) are also expanding their accreditation practices. Wickham said that JCAHO is now involved in credentialing pharmacists who dispense fluid therapy prescriptions for payment. …