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The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board will begin certifying specialty pharmacists who pass a comprehensive exam in October. The exam is designed to cover the entire specialty pharmacy process, including intake, clinical management, fulfillment and outcomes.
The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy is bringing to bear some real advocacy and structure to the highly fragmented specialty pharmacy marketplace. The DSN Group, including its specialty pharmacy publication of the same name, Specialty Pharmacy, applauds these efforts.
To be sure, NASP has broken a lot of ground even in the past week. For example, on Thursday the association announced it will be partnering with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists on a specialty pharmacy track, exploring the role SP plays within the aging market, for the ASCP Spring Conference in Orlando May 14-17.
Also Thursday, the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board revealed its collaboration with national leaders and practitioners to define the specialty pharmacist role and scope of practice in the pharmacy industry.
"Specialty pharmacy is a rapidly growing field in pharmacy and the healthcare field as a whole, a $90 billion sector of the pharmacy industry," the group wrote. "By defining the scope of practice, SPCB is supporting the professionalization of the unique role the specialist pharmacist plays on the healthcare team and with the patient. This is a serious undertaking that includes multiple steps to gather and validate information about the critical tasks specialty pharmacists perform and the knowledge and skill needed to complete them."
"Defining the role of a professional in a specific field requires a collaborative effort among all sectors in an industry with the common goal of addressing patient needs and improving outcomes," the SPCB noted.
The DSN Group agrees. Specialty pharmacy is expected to be a big driver of the pharmacy business in the years to come, and NASP is helping to establish a strong base from which that growth will come with their most recent efforts.