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Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners

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TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2016

CHANGES TO THE RULES GOVERNING CLINICAL PHARMACIST PRACTITIONERS:  WHAT DO THEY ENTAIL? 

The Medical and Pharmacy Boards recently collaborated on a series of changes to the rules governing Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners (21 N.C.A.C. 46.3101).  The chief aims of the amendments are:  (1) transfer primary administrative responsibility for CPP application, renewal, and monitoring to the Board of Pharmacy; (2) bring supervising physician consulting and oversight responsibilities in line with those for nurse practitioners and physician assistants; and (3) allow CPPs to designate “primary” and “back-up” supervising physicians, something particularly helpful for CPPs who service patients in a group practice.

This document answers some questions that are likely to arise immediately among presently-approved CPPs and CPP candidates currently seeking approval: http://www.ncbop.org/faqs/Pharmacist/AmendedCPPrules3101FAQ.pdf.

 

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Follow this link for FAQs regarding the CPP Application and Protocol Review by the CPP Advisory Committee Member.

 

Q: What are the CE requirements for Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners (CPPs)?

A: CPPs must obtain 35 hours of “continuing education” per year.  21 NCAC 46.3101(d)(1).  “Continuing education” is defined by the CPP rules as “courses or materials which have been approved for credit by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education.”  21 NCAC 46.3101(a)(8).
The 15 hours (8 hours live) needed for renewal of a pharmacy license count toward this amount, so CPPs need an additional 20 hours of CE (live or correspondence) per year to maintain that credential.

Effective July 1, 2016, CPP rule changes went into effect transferring primary administrative authority over CPP credentialing and renewal to the Board of Pharmacy.  CPP credentials are no longer renewed on a schedule keyed to the CPP’s birthdayCPP credential renewals are now renewed annually on the same schedule as all other licenses, permits, and registrations issued by the Board of Pharmacy – “[e]ach CPP shall register annually on or before December 31.”  21 NCAC 46.3101(c)(1).

Accordingly, as explained here -- http://www.ncbop.org/faqs/Pharmacist/AmendedCPPrules3101FAQ.pdf -- any pharmacist holding a CPP credential as of July 1, 2016 or who newly acquires a CPP credential between July 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 shall be deemed to hold a current CPP credential through December 31, 2017.

All CPPs will be required to have obtained 35 hours of continuing education to renew in on or before December 31, 2017.  There is no requirement that CPPs obtain some “pro-rated” additional amount of continuing education to account for the period of July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. 

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Q: What refill authority exists for Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners?

A: Summary of Rules on Prescribing by Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners (click to view PDF.)

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Q: What is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner and how can I qualify for that designation?

A: Through the efforts of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists a change of statute occurred in both the Medical Practice Act and the Pharmacy Practice Act. This provides for designating certain pharmacists as Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners who collaborate with a supervising physician to provide optimum health care and use the extensive knowledge of pharmaceuticals by pharmacists.

There are three ways in which a person can be qualified as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner. A person could hold a Board of Pharmaceutical Specialty Certification or complete an ASHP Residency and have two years of clinical experience. Another route is for individuals who have a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree with three years of clinical experience plus a certificate program. Pharmacists with B.S. degrees need five years of clinical experience and two certificate programs as defined in 21 NCAC 46.3101(2)(b).

It is necessary to complete an application which is sent to the NC Board of Pharmacy for approval. A collaborative practice agreement is necessary with a physician as noted in .3101(6). An initial non-refundable fee of $100 is payable to the NC Board of Pharmacy (by credit card only) with a $50 renewal fee. A total of 35 hours of continuing education is necessary to renew as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner (see FAQ above).

Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners are in essentially the same position as a physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Medical acts which can be performed include prescribing and Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners who have controlled substances in their protocol can obtain a DEA registration.

 

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