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Dear NCPA member:

Two separate draft accreditation standards for community pharmacies have been released for public comment by (1) the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA), a collaboration between the American Pharmacists Association and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and (2) URAC, a health care accreditation organization. No matter what your views are, NCPA strongly encourages its members to submit formal comments to both organizations. It is crucial that independent community practitioners take full advantage of this comment period to ensure that their voices are heard. Please note that the comment period for the CPPA program ends August 15 and the URAC program ends August 17. NCPA will be sending its own formal comments to both organizations as well.

For your convenience, NCPA has reviewed both sets of proposed standards and has identified several issues that you should be aware of.

In sum, BOTH standards appear to be...

  • Duplicative of current state and federal laws and regulations and of generally accepted and already widely used pharmacy practice standards.
  • Focused on subjective procedures and goals. NCPA has concerns about how compliance with the draft standards will be measured.
  • Not results oriented, in part, by relying mostly on documentation of policy and procedures instead of actual practice improvements.

NCPA has released the results of a 2010 Member Survey and two editorials about community pharmacy accreditation (August 27, 2010 and July 13, 2012). NCPA's overarching comments and concerns include the following...

  • Since 1998 NCPA's official position has been to support individual state boards of pharmacy as the regulating bodies for pharmacy, rather than another entity providing national oversight.
  • Accreditation could be a precursor to a national board of pharmacy, eventually making the state boards less relevant.
  • Neither community pharmacies, patients, nor payers are currently demanding community pharmacy accreditation.
  • There will be costs associated with accreditation – initial and maintenance fees to the accrediting body plus the cost to prepare for accreditation.
  • While accreditation is "voluntary" at this point, it may become "required" in the future.
  • It is unclear what incentives exist for a community pharmacy to become accredited.
  • Accreditation could be used as the "admission ticket" for pharmacies to participate in restricted networks.
  • Sampling should not be allowed for certain entities and not others.

See below for directions on how to respond to both sets of proposed standards.

URAC Accreditation Standards
To register your opinion click here.


CPPA Accreditation Standards
To register your opinion click here.