Licensure transfers set another record

May 2, 2005

For the third year in a row, a record number of pharmacists had their licenses transferred to other states in 2004, according to an annual year-end review by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

A total of 7,292 license transfer requests were fielded by NABP's Electronic Licensure Transfer Program, up 880 from the previous year. ELTP allows pharmacists to transfer their existing licenses from one state or jurisdiction to another through uniform licensure requirements. It's also a clearinghouse for disciplinary actions against pharmacists and verifies background information. Pharmacists can ask to have their licenses transferred to multiple states.

For the third consecutive year, more pharmacists exported their licenses to Florida than to any other single state. The Sunshine State reported that 514 licenses were placed on the pharmacy boards rolls, while 143 licenses were outward bound, for a net gain of 371. The previous year, Florida came out with 298 more licenses. Another state blessed with abundant sunshine had the second best ratio: Arizona gained a total of 348 licenses based on 448 transfers into the state and 100 transfers out of the state.

The Southeastern states continued to be pharmacist magnets. For example, Georgia had 173 more licenses coming in than going out. North Carolina wasn't far behind with 165 licenses to the good, and Tennessee ended up with 141 more licenses. Mississippi (down four) and Alabama (down 47) were the only states in the region to end up with fewer licenses.

The Northwestern states were also favorite licensure destinations. Washington added 45 licenses, and Oregon gained 49, while neighboring Idaho came out 26 ahead.

The sharpest net drop was in Pennsylvania, which had a net loss of 97 licenses. Like other states with several pharmacy schools, such as Massachusetts and Texas, Pennsylvania is a perennial loser, at least when it comes to pharmacist licenses. However, New York, which hosts four pharmacy schools, was able to buck the trend last year, with a net gain of 36 licenses.