Obtaining the proper licensing as well as meeting any testing or other qualification requirements is a critical part of performing as a professional in many specialties. Like it or not, oversight agencies like national boards, state boards, or other licensing boards or associations, assist in the government’s key role in overseeing practitioners in fields that require specialized training, education, or which involve working with important commodities, like controlled substances in the case of pharmacy.
What Is the Indiana Board of Pharmacy?
The board is responsible for making sure that all practicing pharmacists are properly licensed and have taken all of the necessary examinations. The board interacts with other agencies and associations, notifying them that you have met the requirements to practice as a pharmacist or pharmacy professional in the State of Indiana.As you might have figured out by now, the board works with several other key players besides pharmacists. Some professions are required to interact with the Indiana Board of Pharmacy to some degree in order to practice their trade in the State of Indiana. This includes professionals such as:
- Pharmacist Intern
- Pharmacy Technician
- Security Feature Prescription Paper Provider
- Wholesale Drug Distributor
- Continuing Education Sponsor
- In-State Pharmacy
- Non-Resident Pharmacy
It is important for state agencies to keep records including licenses, examinations, addresses or address changes, immunizations, place of employment, qualifying pharmacist status. These records allow the agency to keep track of who is doing what and where in the pharmacy practice in the state while also forming a kind of security feature in the industry. Also, as the list above indicates, the board interacts with the pharmacy as a unit, not merely with its employees, as a way of performing the necessary oversight of an industry to which a lot of attention has been directed in the last decade.
What Is Their Function?
The Indiana Board of Pharmacy is responsible for maintaining the records of several professions within the pharmacy practice in Indiana. The board also has a role in overseeing the pharmacies where these professionals are employed and keeping track of wholesale drug distribution and the provision of prescription paper. What this means for you, if you are a pharmacist, pharmacist intern, or another individual involved in the trade in the State of Indiana, is that they are the board to which you submit the necessary information in order to become a licensed pharmacist or other professionals in the State of Indiana.
It may surprise some of you to learn that obtaining a license to be a pharmacy professional in the State of Indiana involves more than filling out an application. In addition to providing the necessary documents to verify your identity, you would also have to provide proof that you took the requisite pharmacy examinations, the NAPLEX and MPJE, that you graduated from a program that is accredited by one of two organizations in the United States and Canada, namely the ACPE or CCAPP, pass a criminal background check, and other steps.
In addition to obtaining these important records from the applicant for a state license, or from a prospective practitioner who is applying to take a test in order to obtain a license, the board also interacts with other agencies and organizations to verify the identities and professional statuses of men and women applying for tests and the like. In a sense, the board is the state record keeper that is able to verify both within the state and outside of the state, that you are who you say are, and that you are qualified to practice your trade or to take a required test.
Through its oversight of pharmacists, the board is an arm of the government that serves as a watchdog over the distribution of prescription drugs, including pain meds like opiates to which the public and news media have directed much interest in recent years due to a drug epidemic in the United States.
Although the topic of specifically how a pharmacist interacts with the board is explained in more detail in the next section, an example of just one of these interactions does help to give a sense of the board’s function and its supervisory role in the field in the state. If a pharmacist in the State of Indiana is the qualifying pharmacist at a pharmacy, then this pharmacist is required to notify the board at the time that they leave their position as qualifying pharmacist.
What Interaction Does A Pharmacist Have With The Board?
Because the pharmacy field is one that requires advanced education, as well as a state license and various tests, a pharmacist, pharmacy intern, or any of several other individuals in the profession, can expect to have significant interaction with the board. A pharmacist, in particular, has much communication with the board. This section summarizes the major areas of contact the pharmacist has with the board, in the board’s role as a licensor, verifier of identity, and record keeper.
- Application for Pharmacy License
- Application to Renew Pharmacy License
- Certificate of Completion of Practical Experience/Intern Hours (by pharmacy school)
- Continuing Education Requirements
- Name Change
- Address Update
- Any information requested by the board during an audit, including continuing education information
- Records pertaining to immunizations administered by pharmacists and pharmacy interns to ensure that they are in compliance with board regulations
Although practitioners in the field of pharmacy in the State of Indiana will have significant interaction with the Indiana Board of Pharmacy during their careers, the interaction may not be as complex as it may seem to new career pharmacists at first glance. Many of the important documents are submitted when first applying for a license in the state, which will be discussed in the next section, while other documents may be requested as needed from the board at a later time.
How To Register
Perhaps the most important interaction that a pharmacist has with the Indiana Board of Pharmacy is when they are first registering with the board, that is, applying for a license. The pharmacist applying for a license will have completed the requisite education requirements at an accredited school as well as the necessary practical or intern experience. The board requires that a license only be granted to individuals that have:
- Submitted the completed application with a passport photo measuring approximately 2.5 by 3.5 inches
- Enclosed the required $100 application fee with the documentation
- Has completed study at an accredited school or submits a notarized Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Committee Certificate if they have graduated from a non-accredited school
- Completed practical requirement
- Has submitted to a criminal background check
- Has successfully completed the NAPLEX and MPJE
The application can be obtained online. It should be submitted with the photograph and fee to the address below:
Professional Licensing Agency
402 West Washington Street, Room W072
Indianapolis, IN 46204
As a licensing and record keeping agency, the Indiana Board of Pharmacy not only serves an important role in the key realm of state oversight of the field of pharmacy, but it also is key to helping the future or current pharmacist obtain a career in an important and growing industry. Pharmacy professionals should expect to have significant interaction with the board throughout their careers.