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Washington, D.C. – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) has received a petition to recognize Emergency Medicine Pharmacy as a specialty and has opened the public comment period.


The petition to recognize Emergency Medicine Pharmacy as a specialty was submitted by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Contributors to the petition on behalf of those organizations were:


Nicole M. Acquisto, PharmD, FCCP, BCCCP
ACCP Clinical Expert
Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacy
Specialist, Department of Pharmacy
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center


Katelyn R. Dervay, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, FASHP
ASHP Clinical Expert
Pharmacotherapy Specialist, Emergency Medicine
Director, PGY2 Emergency Medicine Residency
Tampa General Hospital Pharmacy Department


Christopher Edwards, PharmD, BCPS
ASHP Clinical Expert
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice and Science
Clinical Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and College of Medicine


Megan E. Musselman, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCCCP
ACCP Clinical Expert
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
PGY1 Residency Coordinator
North Kansas City Hospital


Vicki Basalyga, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS
ASHP Staff Liaison
Director, Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists


Kathy Pham, PharmD, BCPPS
ACCP Staff Liaison
Director, Policy and Professional Affairs


Jann B. Skelton, RPh, MBA
Project Consultant
President, Silver Pennies Consulting


The petition definition for emergency medicine (EM) pharmacist specialists is as follows: “Emergency medicine pharmacists (EMPs) specialize in the delivery of direct patient care at the bedside and care for patients across diverse populations and acuity levels. These specialists are critical members of the interprofessional emergency medicine team, are able to anticipate pharmacotherapy needs in the fast‐paced environment of the emergency department (ED), and have expertise in the management of time‐dependent emergencies, pre‐hospital medicine, emergency preparedness, public health, and toxicology. Emergency medicine pharmacy practice focuses on rapid assessment of available patient data to optimize pharmacotherapy, improve patient safety, increase efficiency and cost‐effectiveness of care, facilitate medication stewardship, educate patients and health care clinicians, and contribute to research and scholarly efforts.


EMPs have the specialized knowledge and expertise needed to manage complex patient medication regimens unique to the emergency medicine population, support operational processes and systems within the ED to improve patient care and patient safety, provide support and education for health care professionals and trainees, and counsel patients and caregivers. These critical functions are delivered in a complex and chaotic environment where patient information is often unknown or incomplete.


As part of this deliberation, the BPS Board of Directors reviewed the role delineation study conducted in this area of pharmacy practice areas and found the results supportive of further consideration of Emergency Medicine as a pharmacy specialty.


The petition will need to address, in detail, each of the criteria deemed necessary for a new specialty to be recognized by BPS. Those criteria include:

• Need
• Demand
• Number/Time
• Specialized Knowledge
• Specialized Functions
• Education and Training
• Transmission of Knowledge


A public comment period is now open for interested parties to review and comment on the petition. The public comment period closes on Sunday, December 22, 2019. The Board will complete its review and render a decision within six months. If approved, an Emergency Medicine Pharmacy Specialty Council will be established to work with BPS and its highly qualified psychometric staff to establish eligibility criteria and develop a bank of test items for the certification examination.


The link to the petition to recognize Emergency Medicine as a pharmacy specialty can be accessed below:
Petition: Emergency Medicine Pharmacy Petition
Public Comment Survey:


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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