Board of Pharmacy Specialties
2215 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 429-6304 FAX
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 23, 2012
BPS Revises Petitioner's Guide
BPS sets goal to review petitions within 6 months
Washington, DC - The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) has revised the Petitioner's Guide for Recognition of a Pharmacy Practice Specialty - now available on the BPS website at www.bpsweb.org. Notable revisions pertain to advancing logistical and administrative proceduresto improve efficiency, optimize use of communications technology, and streamline the timetable for considering petitions, while maintaining rigorousstandards for evaluating pharmacy practice specialties.
The Petitioner's Guide for Recognition of a Pharmacy Practice Specialty contains information to assist those interested in developing and submitting a petition for recognition of a pharmacy practice specialty. Seven criteria must be addressed for a proposed area of pharmacy practice to be recognized as a specialty. BPS has not changed those criteria, which focus in depth on these areas:
NEED. Specialization should address public health and/or patient care needs which are not being supplied currently and that pharmacists in the proposed specialty could meet.
DEMAND. BPS describes"demand" as a willingness and ability of stakeholders and other entities to pay for the services of a Board Certified Pharmacist in the proposed specialty.
NUMBER and TIME. A reasonable number of practitioners should be devoting most of the time in the practice of the specialty area to make the certification process economically justifiable for the public and the profession.
SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE.This criterion calls for specialized knowledge, beyond the knowledge base of the doctor of pharmacy degree,of one or more of the pharmaceutical sciences and the biological, physical, behavioral, and administrative sciences which underlie them.
SPECIALIZED FUNCTIONS.Specialization refers to an identifiable field of pharmacy practice that requires specialized functioning and is distinct from other BPS-recognized pharmacy specialties.
EDUCATION and/or TRAINING.Schools and colleges of pharmacy and/or other organizations must offer recognized education and training programs to those seeking advanced knowledge and skills in the area of specialty practice.
TRANSMISSION OF KNOWLEDGE.There must be an adequate transmission of specialized knowledge through professional, scientific, and technical literature directly related to the specialty area.
Among the changes to the guidelines for petitioners,submission of petitionscan include statements of support from stakeholder organizations rather than letters from individuals. Stakeholder organizations can include non pharmacist health professional organizations, public and private health care entities, and consumer organizations.
BPS also reorganized the process for considering petitions into three straightforward stages:
Stage 1 - Completeness
Stage 2 - Public Comment
Stage 3 - Review and Decision
An alternate method for obtaining public commentalso has been introduced. Open hearings at professional meetings are no longer the only means of obtaining public comments. The revised guidelines state thatBPS will conduct a sufficient number of live webinars or open hearings at various times to solicit input from the pharmacy profession, other health professions, third-party payers, and the public. Furthermore, BPS has shortened the timeline for the review of petitions. The previous guidelines called for a period of approximately 1 year. The revised guidelines have established a goal of completing the review process within 6 months.
Other administrative changes include requiring the electronic submission of petitions and the elimination of 25 letters of support from petitioners; however, the petition must be signed by a minimum of 25 individuals supporting the proposed specialty.
Susan Goodin, PharmD, BCOP, 2012 chair of the BPS Board of Directors, commented,"These changes are important to updating the BPS petition process and expediting the review of specialty petitions. BPS is committed to being responsive and flexible in evaluating possible specialties that will improve patient care through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge, and skills in pharmacy through the specialty board certification of pharmacists."
About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) is an autonomous Division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), founded in January 1976 to recognize specialties and certify pharmacists in specialized areas of pharmacy practice. Six specialties are currently recognized by BPS, including 1) nuclear pharmacy, since 1978; 2) nutrition support pharmacy, since 1988; pharmacotherapy, since 1988; psychiatric pharmacy, since 1992; oncology pharmacy, since 1996. The latest BPS specialty, focused on ambulatory care pharmacy, was approved in June 2009, and is scheduled for its first examination in 2011. More than 10,500 pharmacist specialists are currently certified by BPS.