California Board of Pharmacy Requirements

California Board of Pharmacy Requirements

The pharmacy technician position, also known as a pharmaceutical technician, is within a growing field of employment. These technicians can be found in a number of places from drug stores to supermarkets to hospitals, long-term care facilities, and even within pharmaceutical manufacturing. They assist licensed pharmacists with the preparation and the distribution of medications to clients and patients. Because it is a growing field, each state has its own requirements. What we will focus on today is the California Board of Pharmacy.

Table Of Contents

About the California Board of Pharmacy

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The California Board of Pharmacy regulates the health and safety standards that each pharmacist and pharmacy technician must comply with. They are the governing body for both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. They set the guidelines, laws, legislation, and the enforcement of the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals for the state of California.

Examination Program for the California Board of Pharmacy

In order to practice in the state of California, each pharmacy technician applicant goes through the Pharmacy Technician Pharmacy Certification Board (PTCB) where they will submit a request to take the examinations required for the state of California. These exams are done through certified organizations that offer a pharmacy technician certification program and are accredited by the National Commission for certifying agencies. Once you have qualified to take the exam, there is a $105 fee required to schedule an exam.

The exam program has two parts. One must first pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) prepares these tests. Next, the applicant needs to pass the California Pharmacist Jurisprudence Exam (CPJE) which is developed by the California Board of Pharmacy.

Both exams are taken on a computer and will be available to qualifiedapplicants to take six days a week throughout the year. The test consists of 90 questions. Of these 90 questions, 10 questions will not be pharmaceutical in nature and will be randomly placed throughout the test. The other 80 questions are broken down into a few different categories.

applicants to take six days a week throughout the year. The test consists of 90 questions. Of these 90 questions, 10 questions will not be pharmaceutical in nature and will be randomly placed throughout the test. The other 80 questions are broken down into a few different categories.

Assisting the Pharmacist in Serving Patients

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In this section, you will demonstrate your knowledge of how to process a prescription, collect data, communicate properly with patients and clients, and how to compound and administer drugs.

Maintaining Medication and Inventory Control Systems

For this part of the test, you will demonstrate your knowledge of pharmaceuticals and medical supply identification, how to inventory, keep records, and how to do quality control.

Participating in the Administration and Management of Pharmacy Practice

For this portion of the exam, you will demonstrate your knowledge of the federal regulations and professional standards, safety practices, quality assurance, the use and maintenance of a number of pharmaceutical technologies, and billing and accounting.

Additional Information

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You should consider that you cannot transfer your license to California. You will need to take and pass both the NAPLEX and CPJE. Also, keep in mind that the board must have your transcript that lists your degree in order for them to confirm your eligibility for the NABP. 

If you are taking the NAPLEX exam in another state and want to transfer the score to California, you must do this through the NAPB. If you visit their website (www.nabp.net), you will be able to read the specific requirements to do so.

To take the NAPLEX exam in California, you should first submit an application to the California Board of Pharmacy and complete all the requirements. Secondly, you will need to submit a “Registration Bulletin” with the NABP in order to take the NAPLEX. The fee to take the NAPLEX exam is $485, which is paid to the NABP.

You can submit your board application and NABP application for NAPLEX once you have met the requirements to take the exam. You can download the application for the board at www.pharmacy.ca.gov. For information on the NAPLEX, go to www.nabp.net. Just as a reminder, the board will not mail out either of the applications.    

Application Fee

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All foreign students are required to first apply to the board as a foreign graduate for them to be scheduled to take the California exam. In order for a license to be issued, a United States social security number is required. Once you’ve passed the NAPLEX exam, you will only need to retake the CPJE if you have not taken the California Pharmacist Jurisprudence Exam.

If you previously had a Live Scan done, but have yet to apply with the board, you can just submit a copy of your Live Scan receipt with your application as long as your Live Scan was done in the past year. If your Live Scan was done through a previous employer or through a volunteer organization, you will need to redo your Live Scan as it cannot be shared between different agencies. You will also be required to obtain both state and federal background checks.

The MPJE is a separate exam that is required by some states for licensure, so if you take the MPJE exam that is offered by the MABP, you will still have to take the CPJE. The MPJE is not a requirement in California. You must pass the CPJE exam as well as the NAPLEX exam to be licensed in California.

The outline that is posted on the board’s website is for the CPJE. The MPJE exam is not required to become licensed in California. You must pass the NAPLEX and CPJE exams on or after January 1, 2004. The candidate handbooks can be found on our website. Both of the exams are available nationwide at different test locations. We have different firms that provide each exam.

The NAPLEX exam is developed and given by the NAPB. At this time, the board is not aware of any changes that have been made to the exam. You are only allowed to take both the NAPLEX and the CPJE exams once each. If you have applied with the NABP for my NAPLEX exam in another state as your primary home and California as a score transfer, you will need to apply for the CPJE.    

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You may send a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check made out to the “Board of Pharmacy” to pay for the exam; cash should not be sent. If you are applying within the 2-year mark from your previous attempt, you can submit a retake application with fee (if applicable). If it has been longer than 2 years from your last attempt, you will be required to submit a new application, along with supporting documents and fee (if applicable).

If you reside outside of California, you can come to California to have Live Scan done. However, if you reside outside of California, you cannot do another state’s Live Scan because they are not connected to California’s Live Scan system. It is highly recommended that you submit your fingerprints on fingerprint boards, which are provided by the California Board of Pharmacy. Submit your fingerprint boards along with a $49 processing fee to the California Board of Pharmacy. You can request fingerprint cards at www.pharmacy.ca.gov.    

Requirements for the California Board of Pharmacy

CBP Requirements

In order to become eligible to take the pharmacist licensure for California, you must be 18 years or older. You are required to have a high school diploma, GED, or a foreign diploma and free of felony convictions of any kind. Applicants should also be free of any drug-related convictions, including misdemeanors. Any and all violations must be reported to the PTCB.

Applicants cannot have a denial, suspension, revocation, or other punitive restrictions from any other State Board of Pharmacy, and they cannot have any record of misconduct or regulation violations through any other State Board of Pharmacy.

Applicants are expected to have graduated from a domestic school of pharmacy or be a graduate of a foreign school of pharmacy and then certified by the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC), and they are expected to have completed at least 150 semester hours of college credits, of which 90 must be from a school of pharmacy. Additionally, they are expected to have a minimum of 1,500 hours of approved pharmaceutical experience as a registered intern or at least one year of experience as a licensed pharmacist from another state.

Conclusion

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There are many career opportunities for pharmacy technicians. Being in the health field, it requires attention to detail and can be quite trying, but the rewards of being able to help others through your job are astounding, and many who have decided on this work do not regret their decision. With the dwindling population of licensed pharmacists, there is an ever-increasing need for pharmacy technicians in a wide variety of locations.  If being in a regular drug store or in a hospital pharmacy is not your ideal workplace environment, just remember that pharmacy technicians can now be found in a variety of different surroundings, including in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. For more information about becoming a licensed pharmacy technician, contact the California Board of Pharmacy on their website, www.pharmacy.ca.gov.