A professional association is an organization that brings together people with special professional qualifications who work in the same or similar fields. The purpose of its creation is to promote the professional development of participants through an organization, provide information support, ensure the right to engage in a certain type of activity, help in finding employment, create favorable conditions for work, fight for a decent salary level, protect the rights of specialists, represent their interests, etc.
The United States is considered a model country in terms of health and pharmacy. This country is the “pioneer” in the regulation of medicine.
There are a lot of pharmaceutical professional associations in the USA, the first of them was founded on a national scale back in 1852. My Canadian Pharmacy offers close attention to the oldest associations that have regulatory/licensing responsibilities.
Top 6 Pharmacy Regulators in the US
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)
The NABP is one of the most important organizations that is engaged in licensing US pharmaceutical workers, as well as those who want to confirm a foreign diploma in the field of pharmacy.
Established in the United States in 1904, the NABP is an international association that helps member councils and jurisdictions manage pharmacy licensing programs for public health. The NABP consists of 54 active and 12 associated members. Active members include all 50 of the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Associate members of the Council are Australia, the Bahamas and 10 provinces of Canada.
The NABP conducts a licensing procedure for pharmacists or a standardized analysis of the ability of practitioners to practice pharmacy – the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the jurisprudence exam – Multi-State Pharmacist Licensing Exam – MPJE.
In 1999, the NABP developed the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program for accrediting online pharmacies. In 2004, the NABP developed the Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors (VAWD) program to accredit wholesale distributors and protect the public from the threat of counterfeit medicines.
In 2011, the NABP exchanged data that allows authorized pharmacists, law enforcement agencies, and regulatory boards to access information about prescriptions that contain controlled substances. This platform, known as the NABP PMP InterConnect, is a one-page summary of actions aimed at finding patient medications through government lines.
American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
Founded in 1852, the APhA is the largest association of pharmacists in the United States, which includes about 63 thousand practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, pharmaceutical students, and pharmaceutical pharmacists participate. The APhA has also been a member of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) for many years.
The APhA is an organization whose members are recognized in society as important participants in the healthcare system for the optimal use of drugs, improving health and quality of life. Through awareness, education and advocacy, the APhA empowers its members to improve drug use and patient care.
The APhA is optimizing the role of pharmacists in patient-centered care; providing opportunities for professional development, recognition, differentiation and leadership; as well as the dissemination of timely relevant information and modern tools and resources. In addition, the association promotes raising public awareness of the role of pharmacists as an important part of patient care in terms of the optimal use of drugs; and also creates unique opportunities for participants for mutual cooperation and sharing of various resources between specialists of the same industry.
The APhA offers a range of services or benefits for its members. For example, pharmacists have specialized training and continuing education programs designed to help determine the future of pharmacy.
The APPM is designed to assist members in expanding the pharmacist profession, improving drug use, and promoting patient care. It stimulates the conduct and prevalence of research and the application of the results to improve the health of patients, works for pharmacists and those involved in the pharmaceutical sciences.
The APhA also provides quick access to an extensive, ever-growing repository of online tools and resources, allowing professionals to keep track of the latest pharmaceutical trends.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
ASHP was founded in 1942. It was the second-largest professional association, which numbers about 43 thousand pharmaceutical specialists (pharmacists, students and pharmaceutical technicians) and is also a member of the FIP.
The organization’s goal is to promote and support the professional practice of pharmacists in hospitals and healthcare systems and to act as their voice on issues related to drug use and public health. ASHP represents the interests of pharmacists who are providers of patient care in emergency and ambulatory care. The society provides the only comprehensive, nationally available resource for drug scarcity information in the United States.
ASHP provides professional assistance in the area of pharmacy care for healthcare systems to government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and healthcare organizations, such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
Like other professional organizations, ASHP promotes continuing professional education, conducts continuing education courses, seminars, conferences, and provides scholarships for leadership among participants and for outstanding achievements among students.
An important role for ASHP is to develop and promote national standards for inpatient pharmaceutical care and to promote the creation of best pharmaceutical care practices to improve patient care.
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)
The ISPOR was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization for “disseminating the science of pharmacoeconomics and promoting the implementation of its research for decision-making in healthcare, to ensure the distribution of limited resources of society wisely, fairly and efficiently.” Over the years, the ISPOR has more than 20 thousand active participants from more than 120 countries, including researchers, academics, regulators, experts, public and private health payers, health care providers, industry representatives, and patients.
In addition to analytical activities, conferences, seminars and other educational programs, the ISPOR has a program of scientific achievement and leadership awards (ISPOR’s scientific achievement and leadership awards program). It is designed to foster and recognize excellence in research, leadership and outstanding technical advances in economics and health economics and outcomes research (HEOR). The ISPOR Grants Program provides financial assistance to members to participate in conferences and educational events in support of a mission to promote HEOR excellence worldwide.
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
The ACPE was founded in 1932. In 1975, the council developed standards for approving (currently accrediting) suppliers of continuing pharmaceutical education. In 1999, it developed additional standards for ACPE suppliers who performed certification activities in pharmacy.
The ACPE is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the national pharmacy training accreditation agency. The ACPE is also a national agency for the accreditation of continuing education providers and offers the evaluation and certification of vocational training programs at the international level.
Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS)
The BPS was created in 1976 as an autonomous division of APhA, and its mission is to improve patient care and raise awareness of the need for certification of pharmacists. The BPS certification is recognized as the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are eligible to participate in advanced pharmaceutical practices. Due to the rigorous standards endorsed by the certification of BPS platforms, the certified BPS pharmacist is recognized as the most qualified to meet today’s growing professional expectations. Currently, more than 36 thousand pharmacists around the world are conducting BPS Board certification in one or more of 11 specialties.
BPS certification is a voluntary process that confirms the pharmacist’s education, experience, knowledge and skills in a specific field of practice, in addition to what is required for licensing.
BPS core responsibilities include:
- recognition of relevant pharmacy practices based on criteria established by BPS;
- standards for certification and re-certification of pharmacists in recognized specialties of pharmaceutical practice;
- providing qualified pharmacists with certification and re-certification in certain pharmaceutical practices;
- work as a coordination agency and clearinghouse for organizations and pharmacists in recognized pharmaceutical specialties;
- strengthening the protection of the population/consumers by developing effective certification programs for specialized practices in a pharmacy.
Thanks to strict examination standards, the certified BPS pharmacist has universal training and education to meet the ever-increasing expectations of other members of the healthcare team and the special needs of the patients they serve.
After analyzing professional pharmaceutical associations in the United States, we can conclude that this state is primarily characterized by a developed structure of social society. Professional communities are successfully coping with licensing of specialists in the USA.
In general, the main functions performed by professional organizations are the development, implementation, and monitoring of the implementation of standards used in the daily work of the pharmaceutical industry. And this is an integral part of work both in pharmacy and in any other field of activity.
Another important function is to bring together professionals so that they participate in the development and understanding of common standards of activity that can be used in this industry and in the country, as well as internationally.
Posted by Riley Patterson