Washington, D.C. – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) Board of Directors voted during their October meeting  to conduct a role delineation study (RDS) in pain management pharmacy. This action was taken after the BPS Board reviewed a 2019 pain management practice analysis to evaluate the contemporary body of knowledge and skills necessary for pharmacists to provide safe and effective pain management to patients with acute and chronic pain.


In the Board’s review of the 2019 practice analysis the following trends were noted:

  • The appearance of increasing demand among employers for specialized pain management expertise across ambulatory, acute care, palliative care, and hospice services;
  • Available training programs for pharmacists, including, but not limited to, the growing number of accredited postgraduate-year-two residencies in pain and palliative care, along with focused traineeships; and,
  • An emerging and identifiable body of knowledge and skills needed to provide effective pain management services to patients with increasingly complex care needs.


Conducting a role delineation study is a critical step in evaluating a potential new specialty. The purpose of the RDS is to characterize the depth and breadth of specialized knowledge required and functions routinely performed by pain management pharmacists. This RDS will also explore pain management practices across care settings, including ambulatory care, acute care, and hospice. BPS plans to issue a national call to subject matter experts in the first half of 2020 and convene the RDS panel later in the year.


About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties

The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) was established in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The mission of BPS is to improve patient care by positioning BPS Board-Certified Pharmacist Specialists as integral members of multidisciplinary healthcare teams, through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge, and skills for pharmacists in the United States and internationally. Board certification is a recognized credential for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels given the rigorous standards mandated by BPS board certification and recertification. BPS currently recognizes more than 42,000 pharmacist certifications across 11 specialties.


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