The Certified Specialty Pharmacist Program

Why certify pharmacists for specialty pharmacy?

Specialty pharmacy is the fastest growing segment of pharmacy practice today and will continue for the foreseeable future.  Specialty products will approach up to 40% of the total drug spend in the next several years.  Specialty pharmacy impacts only a small percent of the population; however, the diseases and drug therapies are very complex and require a higher level of knowledge compared to more traditional diseases and drug therapies.  Specialty pharmacy is comparable to a physician specialist where deeper knowledge and education is required to properly service the specialty patient.

Additionally, beyond care management for specialty patients, the pharmacist needs to better understand the distribution, handling, reimbursement, data reporting and additional services required for the specialty products.   In summary, the Certified Specialty Pharmacist Program will improve the quality of care for the patient and help optimize positive outcomes both clinical and economical.

 What does the credential do for the pharmacist?

  • Ensures that pharmacists are receiving the correct balance of specialty pharmacy educational programming to improve their performance and knowledge base
  • Satisfies the unmet needs of the specialty pharmacy industry by responding to the rapidly changing environment of the specialty pharmacist to better service the patient
  • Recognizes pharmacists for their educational achievements and validates their professional expertise
  • Provides a career-long learning path that recognizes and tracks proficiency areas
  • Elevates the status of the specialty pharmacy professional
  • Differentiates the pharmacist in a competitive job market
  • Improves pharmacist handling of limited or exclusively distributed specialty drugs
  • Positions the pharmacist to better serve physician and payer requirements (list of certified pharmacists can be shared with payers, physicians and other organizations)
  • Protects the public by improving health outcomes and reducing medication errors.

How does certification benefit patients, payers and physicians?

  • Ensures that the pharmacist service the specialty patient is properly trained in the disease state, drug therapy and other patient service requirements
  • Enables the pharmacist to better communicate with the physician specialists and their office staff
  • Creates a focus around side effect management and adherence to therapy
  • Heightens the attention of the pharmacist around appropriate use of the specialty products
  • Stresses the need for compassion toward the patient and caregiver
  • Creates an awareness of the financials related to specialty drugs and reimbursement challenges for patients
  • Overall, helps to protect the public by improving health outcomes and reducing medication errors.

Specialty Pharmacy……Multiple practice channels

There are over 275,000 licensed Pharmacists practicing in the United States, with approximately 13,000 new Pharmacy graduates each year.

Specialty Pharmacists practice in a variety of pharmacy settings, and require interaction with many different Healthcare providers including Physicians, Pharmacists, Chief Pharmacy Officers, Infusion Nurses, Home Healthcare Nurses, Pharmacy Technicians, Case Managers, P&T Committees,  Reimbursement Specialists, Patients, Caregivers and Patient Advocates.

Specialty Pharmacists have variation and differentiation in their roles and responsibilities, with differing tasks, knowledge and skill sets, depending on their therapeutic area of practice, or type of pharmacy practice site.

SPCB has identified multiple practice settings and may perform Role Delineation Studies (RDS) in the following practice settings to establish content and assessment variances by practice site.

  • Pharmacy Benefit Management Organizations
  • Infusion & Home Health Care Pharmacies
  • Chain & Independent Retail Pharmacies
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Specialty and Specialized Pharmacies
  • Managed Care Chief Pharmacy Officers (CPO™)
  • Pharmacy Staffed Customer Care Centers
  • Hospital In/Out Patient Pharmacies
  • Pharmacy Benefit Managers
  • Mail Order
  • Hospital Pharmacists
  • Managed Care Pharmacy
  • Retail & Chain Pharmacy
  • Infusion & Home Health Pharmacy
  • Alternative

It is the intent of the SPCB to conduct Role Delineation Studies for Specialty Pharmacy Technicians, and Nurses treating patients with Specialty Pharmacy products, to establish the Credential of Certified Specialty Pharmacy Technician (CSPT™), and Certified Specialty Pharmacy Nurse™ (CSRN™), respectively.