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Washington, D.C. – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) received a petition to recognize Pain Management Pharmacy as a pharmacy specialty certification. BPS now opens the public comment period with this link and will close the comment period on June 2, 2023 at 5:00pm EST.


In Fall 2021, the BPS Board of Directors reviewed the job analysis (or role delineation study) conducted within this pharmacy practice area and found the results support further consideration of Pain Management as a recognized pharmacy specialty certification. If the petition is approved, a Pain Management Pharmacy specialty council will be established to work with BPS psychometric staff to establish eligibility criteria and develop a bank of certification examination items.


The BPS Board of Directors will complete its review of public comments and render a decision within six months of the public comment deadline. The petition can be found here.


The petition to recognize Pain Management Pharmacy as a BPS specialty certification was submitted by the American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacists (AAPP), The American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), The American Pharmacists Association (APhA), The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA), The Society of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacists (SPPCP).


The petition submitted to BPS addresses, 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


Contributors to the petition on behalf of these organizations were: Stephanie Abel, PharmD, BCPS; Sondra Adkinson, BSPh, PharmD, CRPh, CPE; Vicki Basalyga, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS; Cara Brock, PharmD; Marcia L. Buck, PharmD, FCCP, FPPA, BCPPS; Arnold Clayman, PD, FASCP; Julie Cunningham, PharmD, BCPP; Syeda Saba Kareem, PharmD, BCOP; Suzanne Amato Nesbit, PharmD, CPE, FCCP; Brenda K. Schimenti, MS; Jann B. Skelton, RPh, MBA, FAPhA; Lisa J. Stanek, MBA; Avra Thomas, PharmD, MS, BCGP, FASCP; Erika E. Tillery, PharmD, BCPP, BCGP, FASCP; Tanya Uritsky, PharmD; and Paria Sanaty Zadeh, PharmD.


The petition definition for pain management pharmacist specialists is as follows: “Pain management pharmacist specialists are experts in delivering direct patient care as members of interprofessional health care teams, leaders of opioid stewardship programs, educators of health care providers, and advocates and educators for patients and their caregivers. Specialists leverage evidence-based medicine to care for patients of all ages, within all care settings, and across the spectrum of complex pain, including, but not limited to, acute, chronic, palliative, and end-of-life Care.


Pain management pharmacist specialists utilize pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenomic data, and their knowledge and experience with biopsychosocial factors, to design patient centered pain regimens and implement, monitor, and modify comprehensive medication plans to improve safety and efficacy to ensure optimal outcomes. Specialty pain pharmacy practice enhances public health by optimizing pain management, mitigating risk, and implementing harm reduction strategies. Highly advanced communication skills, the ability to interpret published literature in a dynamic and evolving practice area, and a focus on quality and safety in compliance with established standards, regulations, and professional best practices are required for pain management pharmacist specialists.”


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 has currently issued more than 57,600 certifications held by pharmacists across 14 specialties.


BPS Media Contact
Alexander Jean-Baptiste
Senior Manager, Social Media & Content Marketing
(202) 760-3836