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New Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board to Certify Specialty Pharmacists
Date:7/24/2012

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy™ (NASP™) and the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board ™,  cspboard.org, (Board) each formed their own organizations as a result of the decision to create a totally independent Certification Board. The new structure creates an independent, not-for-profit entity whose mission is only certification, legally separate and independent from any trade or professional association.

The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board™ is developing unique and differentiated Certifications for Pharmacists, Nurses, and Pharmacy technicians.  The new certification Board is developing certifications that are relevant and meaningful to all Specialty Pharmacy therapeutic practices, and will promote new industry standards, with clarity.

There are currently less than 15,000 pharmacists certified by two other pharmacy certification boards. There are over 275,000 licensed pharmacists practicing in the United States.

There is an unmet need and wide educational gap that has developed in the practice of pharmacy.  Specialty pharmacy is the fastest growing segment of the industry, and the pipeline of specialty pharmaceutical products is continuing to fuel the growth. Specialty pharmaceutical products treat life threatening, life-long diseases such as Hemophilia, Hepatitis C, Cancer, Immune deficiencies, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cystic Fibrosis, and other difficult to manage serious diseases.

To meet this need, the Certification Board will develop therapeutic category sub-specialty assessments called "endorsements", which will require additional assessment testing once a pharmacist has been credentialed.

Pharmacists have taken on an increasingly important role in managing medication therapy, formularies, compliance, adherence, and minimizing adverse drug events and medication errors. The need to educate, and assess the proficiency of these pharmacists has been clearly established.

The Board is dedicated to promote the Specialty Pharmacists responsibility in maintaining the highest possible quality standards, to advance ethical practice and to advocate for professional development to ensure that patients served receive safe efficient care now and in the future, and to provide certification and credentialing programs for healthcare professionals so as to assure protection of the public.

The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board has assembled the leading subject matter experts in certification, pharmacy education, and Specialty Pharmacy to collaborate and define the competencies, tasks and skills of the pharmacy professional to practice technology driven medication therapy and set new standards of practice that improve the health and outcomes of all patients served by Certified Specialty Pharmacists. The SPCB has approved the Specialty Pharma Education Center (SPEC™) to work with certification and psychometric consultants to develop a Role Delineation Study (RDS), validation study, and preparatory courses for the assessment examination.

The CSP™ credential will validate a pharmacist's expertise in Specialty Pharmaceuticals, whether in Retail, Chain, Infusion, Mail Order, Hospital or alternative sites of pharmacy care. It will benefit all practicing pharmacists by providing independent validation of their proficiency, credibility, career advancement opportunities, enhanced placement opportunities, portability, and improved marketability.

According to Gary M Cohen, BSPharm, RPh, of SpecialtyPharmaJournal.com, "There is no existing certification organization that made good business sense for certifying this credential. Now there is an independent Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board that is well timed to meet the current and future needs of the Specialty Pharmacy market. The channel has become so large, diverse and "special", that it is important enough to have a self-governed, self-serving organization to validate their proficiencies. It was amazing how the Specialty Pharmacy providers rallied to endorse the new Specialty Pharmacy Credential."

The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy™ (NASP™) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for the specialty pharmacy profession. This has been the first major pharmacy association launched in over 20 years, and finally gives identity, as well as a platform for the Specialty Pharmacy channel to collaborate as a unified group in what has become the fastest growing channel of the pharmaceutical industry. NASP™ is accepting applications for founding member organizations, and is planning its inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Conference in 2013, on a date and location to be named.

Specialty Pharma Education Center (SPEC™), specialtycme.org, is a post graduate medical education company that has been approved by the SPCB to develop preparatory continuing education courses designed to prepare candidates for the Certified Specialty Pharmacist™ (CSP™) credential.  SPEC provides cutting edge, high-impact accredited continuing education programs for Pharmacists, Physicians, Nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board , cspboard.org, has been established in response to industry demand from the Specialty pharmacy, Chain, Retail, Hospital and Mail Order channels. It will be the mission of the Certification Board to further define its purpose, develop governance, and provide the resources to develop Standards of Practice that are consistent with the Standards set forth by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  The Specialty Pharmacist Certification Board will focus on five sections of Standards; a) Purpose, governance and resources, b) responsibilities to Specialty Pharmacy stakeholders, c) development of a psychometrically sound and legally defensible assessment instrument, d) recertification criteria, and e) applying for and maintaining accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board is a proud member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) and is striving to prepare their program to meet NCCA accreditation standards.

The Board is reviewing nominations and applications for Board members, and is expected to adopt its By-laws later this week. The Board is also recruiting an Executive Director.

For more information contact www.cspboard.org, or call 202-499-0749.

Media Contact: Gary M. Cohen, BSPharm, RPh Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board, 202-499-0749, gcohen@cspboard.org

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