Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Foreign Graduates
Q: Must a foreign pharmacy school graduate obtain FPGEC certification prior to obtaining experiential hours toward pharmacist licensure in North Carolina?
A: Effective August 1, 2008, any graduate of a foreign school of pharmacy who wishes to begin acquiring the 1,500 experiential hours required for licensure as a pharmacist in North Carolina must first provide to the Board of Pharmacy proof that he/she has obtained Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee Certification (“FPGEC”).
Q: May foreign pharmacy graduates work as pharmacy interns or technicians in North Carolina?
A: The Board of Pharmacy frequently receives questions about Board requirements concerning foreign pharmacy graduates who work as pharmacy interns. These inquiries are frequently in connection with applications for H-1B visas.
Under North Carolina law, an individual who has received the foreign equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy may not work as a pharmacy intern without having obtained the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee Certification (“FPGEC”). A pharmacy intern does not require a license from the Board of Pharmacy, but all interns seeking practical pharmacy experience toward licensure as a pharmacist must register with the Board’s internship program on forms provided by the Board. These forms must be filed with the Board of Pharmacy within five (5) days of the beginning of any training period. The practical pharmacy experience forms may be found at this link: http://www.ncbop.org/Forms%20and%20Applications%20-%20Pharmacists/PracticalPhcyExperienceAffidavit.pdf. Any person working as a pharmacy technician must register with the Board within thirty (30) days of beginning employment. The technician registration form may be found at this link: http://www.ncbop.org/technicians_forms.htm.
To ultimately obtain a license to practice pharmacy in North Carolina, the foreign graduate would have to pass the FPGEE, the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the Test of Spoken English, the NAPLEX, and the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam. The Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (“NABP”) administers the FPGEC Certification Program, and foreign graduates should contact the NABP directly for further information.
The foreign graduate would also have to complete 1500 Board-approved practical pharmacy experience hours as a Pharmacy Intern as a condition for licensure. As noted above, all interns seeking practical pharmacy experience must register with Board’s internship program on forms provided by the Board.