Oncology Pharmacy Fact Sheet

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Oncology Pharmacy provides evidence-based, patient-centered medication therapy management and direct patient care for individuals with cancer, including treatment assessment and monitoring for potential adverse drug reactions and interactions. Currently there are more than 2,500 BPS Board Certified Oncology Pharmacists.

The BPS Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist® (BCOP):

  • Has the advanced knowledge and experience to manage cancer-related and drug-related adverse events or clinical situations not encountered in other disease states due to the increasing number and complexity of drug therapies to treat and prevent cancer
  • Is specially trained to recommend, design, implement, monitor and modify pharmacotherapeutic plans to optimize outcomes in patients with malignant diseases and reduce medication errors
  • Recognizes and responds to adverse physical and emotional issues that may arise during treatment, including pain, nausea and hair loss
  • Works in hospital settings as part of a multidisciplinary team; and in ambulatory clinics, arranging for patients to receive their chemotherapy in a care facility or at home
  • Serves as a resource for community pharmacists whose patients are being treated outside the hospital

To become a BPS Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist®, a pharmacist must:

  • Maintain a current, active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction; and
  • Complete four (4) years of post-licensure experience with at least fifty percent (50%) of time spent in oncology pharmacy activities; or
  • Complete an ASHP-approved PGY1 residency plus two (2) additional years of practice post-pharmacist licensure with at least 50% of time spent in oncology pharmacy activities; or
  • Complete an ASHP-approved PGY2 residency in Oncology Pharmacy; and
  • Achieve a passing score on the BPS Oncology Pharmacy Certification Examination

Recertification is required every seven years and can be accomplished by:

Becoming BPS board certified enables pharmacists to:

  • Provide more comprehensive and complex patient care
  • Be prepared to step into pharmacy’s evolving position on the multidisciplinary treatment team
  • Improve their standing in a competitive employment market
  • Be recognized for their expertise by other healthcare professionals, employers, patients and insurers

Board certification through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties® is the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels. Through the rigorous examination standards mandated by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties®, the BPS board certified pharmacist is uniquely trained and educated to meet the continually expanding expectations of other healthcare team members and the specialized needs of the patients they care for.