Need for specialty pharmacy certification grows

August 13, 2014

As the field of specialty pharmacy grows and as graduates continue to enter the pharmacy profession, the need for specialty pharmacy certification will grow, said Gary Rice, RPh, MS, MBA, vice president of clinical services for Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy and immediate past president of the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB), during a webinar this week.

As the field of specialty pharmacy grows and as graduates continue to enter the pharmacy profession, the need for specialty pharmacy certification will grow, said Gary Rice, RPh, MS, MBA, vice president of clinical services for Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy and immediate past president of the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board (SPCB), during a webinar this week.

During the first of two SPCB webinars – the second will be held September 9 – Rice and SPCB Certification

Gary RiceConsultant Janice Moore explained the importance of the board’s Certified Specialty Pharmacy (CSP) credential and how to obtain it.

Pathways to specialty pharmacy

“We are seeing an industry that is growing immensely and the advantage of the certification process is that it is designed to demonstrate to you, your employer, your colleagues, and providers that you have the knowledge and skills required to conduct all the aspects of specialty pharmacy. It is the most powerful tool we have today to demonstrate our proficiency in the industry,” said Rice of the CSP program, which has been in place for around a year.

 

As more pharmacy graduates enter the workforce, the CSP and other pharmacy certifications are going to make a difference in the job marketplace. “As it [CSP] becomes more widely recognizes, it will not only be a job differentiator, but also a company differentiator,” Rice said.

To be eligible to obtain CSP, applicants must have a PharmD or BS Pharm degree and have a current, active U.S. pharmacy license. In addition, they must have completed 30 hours of specialty pharmacy continuing education in the past two years. CE credits obtained through general pharmacy education within the most recent two years can be used, as long as they relate to specialty pharmacy.

Pharmacists can apply at SPCBoard.org to take the CSP test during the months of October and April. The deadline for the October tests – given at testing sites in major metropolitan areas – is September 15.

The fee is $550 for the initial two-year CSP certification, and $250 for re-certification.

The exam covers four main areas: Intake, clinical management, fulfillment, and outcomes. To prepare for the exam, applicants should download the Candidate Handbook from the SPCB site, Moore recommended.