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State Board of Pharmacy Navigator

The purpose of the Pharmacist Licensure Guide is to provide transparency, inform applicants of expected timelines for receiving a license, and outline steps applicants can take to reduce mistakes and mitigate delays. To provide the greatest clarity on the licensing process from start to finish, we will break it down into three phases, providing estimated times for each stage of the process, and recommendations for how to reduce processing times.


Pharmacist

Applicants for a pharmacist license may apply by examination, score transfer or reciprocity.

A pharmacist (RP) provides health care services which include:

  • the interpretation, evaluation and implementation of medical orders for the provision of pharmacy services or prescription drug orders;
  • the delivery, dispensing or distribution of prescription drugs;  
  • participation in drug and device selection;  
  • drug administration;  drug regimen review;  
  • drug therapy management;   
  • drug or drug-related research;  
  • compounding;  
  • proper and safe storage of drugs and devices;  
  • management of drug therapy pursuant to a written agreement or protocol;  
  • maintaining proper records;  
  • patient counseling; and 
  • such acts, services, operations or transactions necessary or incident to the provision of these health care services.  


Obtaining a license for Pharmacist by Examination

Individuals apply by examination when the individual does not hold a pharmacist license in any U.S. state and would like Pennsylvania to be the “primary” state of licensure. If Pennsylvania is the “primary” state of licensure, it means that the PA Board will authorize an applicant to take the North American Pharmacist Examination (NAPLEX) exam. Applicants must have graduated with a Pharm.D. or B.S. in Pharmacy degree from a school of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. A graduate of a foreign pharmacy school must have Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) certification through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Proof of the required education and completion of 1,500 acceptable intern hours is needed prior to being authorized for the licensure exams (NAPLEX and PA MPJE).

 Accordion ‭[1]‬



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Obtaining a license for Pharmacist by Reciprocity and License Transfer

Individuals apply by reciprocity, otherwise known as “license transfer”, when the individual holds an active pharmacist license in another U.S. state; the pharmacist license being reciprocated is the basis of the Pennsylvania pharmacist license. Applicants must have graduated with a Pharm.D. or B.S. in Pharmacy degree from a school of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. A graduate of a foreign pharmacy school must have Foreign Pharmacist Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) certification through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Applicants must demonstrate that they have passed an acceptable national exam (ex. NAPLEX, NABPLEX) under Pennsylvania score standards. Proof of the required education and completion of 1,500 acceptable intern hours or proof of fulltime work as a pharmacist in another U.S. state for at least one year is required prior to being authorized for the PA MPJE.

 Accordion ‭[2]‬



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Obtaining a license for Pharmacist by score transfer

Individuals apply by score transfer when the individual does not hold a pharmacist license in any U.S. state or was recently licensed as a pharmacist in another U.S. state.  This new graduate would like to obtain pharmacist licenses in multiple U.S. states and must be eligible to arrange for a NAPLEX score transfer.   Another U.S. state’s board of pharmacy will be the applicant’s “primary” state of licensure and that state’s board of pharmacy will authorize the applicant to take the NAPLEX exam.  These applicants have a limited time frame to make the appropriate arrangements with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to transfer the Norht American Pharmacist Examination (NAPLEX) score to the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy.  Applicants must have graduated with a Pharm.D. or B.S. in Pharmacy degree from a school of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.  A graduate of a foreign pharmacy school must have Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) certification through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.  Proof of the required education and completion of 1,500 acceptable intern hours is needed prior to being authorized for the PA MPJE.

 Accordion ‭[3]‬



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Renewal of Existing Registered Pharmacist Licenses

On average, renewal licenses for Pharmacist are issued within three calendar days.

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Process Overview

How to Apply for a Professional License.

 

What Happens to My Application?

 

  1. Sign in or create account at www.pals.pa.gov

  2. Select the State Board of Pharmacy to apply and plain-language questions will appear to help you get started

  3. Application appears – review checklist, upload required documents, follow prompts

  4. Review all information and edit as needed

  5. Pay the required fee and your application is submitted

  6. Keep an eye on your email or get real-time updates at www.pals.pa.gov