Pharmacy Groups Unified on Credentialing for Disease State Management

Alexandria, VA -- The Board of Directors of the National Institute for Standards in Pharmacist Credentialing has been expanded to include the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in addition to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

The issue of pharmacist credentialing in disease state management is among the pharmacy profession’s top priorities and prompted the formation of the National Institute for Standards in Pharmacist Credentialing (NISPC).

The NISPC was jointly established in June, 1998, by NABP, NACDS and the NCPA to develop uniform standards for use in the credentialing of pharmacists in the management of disease states.

Since its formation three months ago, the NISPC has received many inquiries from practitioners, colleges of pharmacy, prescription drug manufacturers and payors about the disease state management standards and the credentialing process.

The granting of the Mississippi Medicaid waiver authorizing payment to pharmacists for providing disease state management services, as well as discussions at the national and state level during the past few months have reinforced the need for an inclusive initiative to credential pharmacists in disease state management. These discussions have led APhA to accept an invitation from the founding NISPC members to join the Board of Directors.

The Institute’s efforts represent a coordinated approach for creating the standards that form the foundation for examinations to credential pharmacists in specific disease states.

A staff working group comprised of representatives from each of the founding organizations is serving to coordinate NISPC activities. Senior APhA staff have joined the working group. In addition, NISPC welcomes ideas and input from all facets of the pharmacy community regarding the work the Institute.

To date, NISPC has focused its attention on outlining disease state management standards for anticoagulation, asthma, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Each set of disease state management standards is created by a panel of experts comprised of practitioners, academicians, pharmacy benefits managers, and board of pharmacy members. Panel members are selected based on their demonstrated knowledge and experience in the particular disease state.

NISPC will investigate the development of additional disease management standards based upon the needs and recommendations of practitioners, schools of pharmacy, payors and the general health care community.

NABP in turn utilizes the NISPC standards to create disease specific examinations to objectively and uniformly assess the knowledge of the pharmacist in the particular disease area. All four disease state management examinations will be made available to state boards of pharmacy for administration on uniform test dates, beginning October 28 and 29, 1998.

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