Psychiatric Pharmacy Fact Sheet

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Psychiatric Pharmacy addresses the pharmaceutical care of patients with psychiatric-related illnesses and disorders. Currently there are more than 1,000 BPS Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists.Two Pharmacists

The BPS Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist® (BCPP):

  • Has the advanced knowledge and expertise to provide care to patients with multifaceted symptoms, including treatment assessment, medication regimen design and appropriate dosing
  • Safely manages complex medications, monitors for potential adverse reactions and interactions and adjusts medication regimens accordingly
  • Serves as a valuable resource for patients and healthcare teams in inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Fills important administrative roles in psychiatric, mental retardation and substance abuse facilities
  • Helps reduce costs by recommending the most cost effective medications

To become a BPS Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist, a candidate must:

  • Graduate 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 that jurisdiction; and
  • Maintain a current, active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction; and
  • Complete four years of post-licensure practice with at least fifty percent (50%) of time spent in psychiatric pharmacy activities as defined in the BPS Psychiatric Pharmacy Specialty Content Outline; or
  • Complete an ASHP-accredited PGY1 residency plus two (2) additional years of practice post-pharmacist licensure with fifty percent (50%) spent in psychiatric pharmacy activities as defined in the BPS Psychiatric Specialty Content Outline; or
  • Complete an ASHP-approved PGY2 residency in Psychiatric Pharmacy; and achieve a passing score on the BPS Psychiatric Pharmacy Certification Examination.

Recertification is required every seven (7) years and can be accomplished by:

  • Achieving a passing score on the BPS Psychiatric Pharmacy Recertification Examination; or
  • Earning 100 hours of continuing education credit through the BPS-approved professional development program offered by the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP).

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.