Pharmacotherapy

The BPS Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS) program is a credential for pharmacists who have met the eligibility criteria below and who in their unique practice ensure the safe, appropriate, and economical use of medications as part of interprofessional treatment teams in a variety of settings, including hospitals and health systems.

The purpose of the BCPS program is to validate that the pharmacist has the advanced knowledge and experience to improve  patient outcomes by:

  • Optimizing medication use by serving as an objective, evidence-based source for therapeutic information and recommendations.
  • Functioning as a member of an interprofessional team providing direct patient care.
  • Working with physicians/prescribers in hospitals to design and/or modify patients’ medication therapy regimens.
  • Recommending adjustments to dosage or alternate medications when appropriate.
  • Working with physicians/prescribers in outpatient settings to optimize medication therapy, and tracking progress and compliance .
  • Making suggestions about diet and lifestyle changes to help patients better manage their health.

BPS Pharmacotherapy Brochure

Eligibility Requirements (all practice eligibility requirements must be met prior to the candidate sitting for the examination)

  • Graduation from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or a program outside the U.S. that qualifies the individual to practice in the jurisdiction.
  • Current, active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.
  • Completion of three (3) years of practice experience (post-pharmacist licensure) with at least 50% of time spent in pharmacotherapy activities as defined by the Pharmacotherapy Content Outline. **Practice experience should be from within the past seven years prior to the application date.
    • Completion of a PGY1 residency *.
      *Effective January 1, 2013, only residency programs accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and completed by the applicant within the past 7 years, or new residency programs granted Candidate Status for accreditation by ASHP are creditable for this purpose.
    • Achieving a passing score on the Pharmacotherapy Specialty Certification Examination

Examination Content

(Refer to the Pharmacotherapy Content Outline for details.)

  • Domain 1: Patient-Centered Pharmacotherapy (55% of examination)
  • Domain 2: Drug Information and Evidence-Based Medicine (25% of examination)
  • Domain 3: System-Based Standards and Population-Based Pharmacotherapy (20% of examination)

Recertification

Recertification for Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialists® (BCPS) is a three-step process:

  • Achieving a passing score on the 100-item, multiple-choice objective recertification examination, based on the content outline of the certification examination; OR
  • Earning 120 hours of continuing education credit provided by a professional development program approved by BPS.

The continuing education option for recertification was implemented in 1994 with BPS’ designation of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Pharmacotherapy Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) as an acceptable professional development program for recertification. In 2011, BPS approved two more options for recertification through ACCP, the Pharmacotherapy Preparatory Review and Recertification Course as well as the Clinical Reasoning Series. Starting in 2013, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has been approved as a provider of professional development programs for Pharmacotherapy Specialists. ASHP’s approved BCPS Recertification Program consists of three components: the ASHP Pharmacotherapy Review and Recertification Course; the BCPS Recertification Literature Study; and the Pharmacotherapy Intensive Study.

To complete the 120 hour requirement, BCPS may participate in recertification from both BPS-approved providers. Please note, the Pharmacotherapy Review and Recertification Courses offered by either of the approved providers may only be completed for recertification credit up to two times, in nonconsecutive years, during the recertification cycle.

Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialists® are also required to pay the BPS Annual Certification Maintenance fee of $125 each year for years one through six and a $400 recertification fee in year seven.

Individuals with more than one BPS certification will only be assessed one BPS Annual Certification Maintenance Fee each year.