Licensure Information for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians/Trainees

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In order to be licensed as a Pharmacist in West Virginia, all applicants will be required to pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE), administered by NABP.

If you are a new pharmacy school graduate or score transfer applicant, then you will also be required to take and pass the MPJE and/or NAPLEX examination administered by NABP. NABP will then issue you an Authorization to Test for which you will need to schedule an appointment to take the MPJE at a computer testing center.

If you are an applicant for licensure by Reciprocity, or are a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate please see below.

For information on registration as a Pharmacy Technician, or to start as a Pharmacy Technician Trainee see below:

Click here for Applications.

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Information for Pharmacist Reciprocity

“Licensure Transfer” and Licensure Transfer Application

Step One - Applicant logs onto www.napb.net, under: Licensure Transfer" and Licensure Transfer Application and follows the directions for Reciprocity and MPJE.

Step Two –After Applicant receives official application from the National Board, please submit the Official Application within 90 days to the West Virginia Board of pharmacy –The applicant must mail the completed Official Application to the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy along with the application fee of two hundred and fifty five dollars ($255.00).

When the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy receives your completed application and fee we will mail you the latest edition of our Law Book “Pharmacy Laws and Legislative Rules of West Virginia” Governing The Practice Of Pharmacy and Controlled Substances Act. You are responsible for any changes made in the statutes or rules after the Law Book was published. All such information is available online. If you have questions regarding the MPJE call the NABP at (847) 391-4406.

In order to be licensed in West Virginia, you will be required to pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE).

The MPJE is a two-hour, computer-adaptive examination. You will need to familiarize yourself with the specific federal and state pharmacy laws and regulations as they apply in West Virginia. To get information regarding sitting for the MPJE, you will need to get on the NAPB web site at: http://www.nabp.net/. NABP will then issue you an Authorization to Test for which you will need to schedule an appointment to take the MPJE at a computer testing center.

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Foreign Pharmacy Graduate

A Foreign Pharmacy Graduate, whose undergraduate pharmacy degree was conferred by a recognized school of pharmacy outside of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, may establish educational equivalency by obtaining a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee Certificate (FPGEC) from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

To Obtain an FPGEC Certificate, you must meet all of NABP’s requirements for the program including passing the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEEL), and the Test of Spoken English (TSE).

Applicants who receive FPGEC certification meet the educational requirement for licensure and may apply to sit for the licensure exams (NAPLEX and MPJE). Provided they meet all other qualifications for licensure as a pharmacist.

You will need an application for initial license as a registered intern if you plan to work in this State prior to licensure. Upon successfully receiving the FPGE, send a copy of your certificate with your application to become an intern in West Virginia. Fifteen hundred (1500) Intern hours are required by the State of West Virginia prior to taking the NAPLEX and only up to five Hundred (500) of those hours may have been served in a foreign country. After passing the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination (FPGEC), and getting your 1500 Intern hours you may then apply to take the NAPLEX and West Virginia MPJE.

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Pharmacy Technicians

Legislative Rule for Pharmacy Technicians: § 15-7-2. Definitions.

2.3. "Pharmacy Technician" means a person registered with the board to practice certain tasks related to the practice of pharmacist care in this State within the scope of practice permitted by West Virginia Code Section 30-5-12, as provided, permitted, and limited by the laws and rules governing the practice of pharmacist care.

TEN (10) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1- Since I have to be nationally certified, how I do it, how much does it cost, and where do I had to go to take the certification exam?

ANSWER: We accept either the PTCB or the NHA national certification. They have their own requirements and testing. You can research them at their websites: http://www.ptcb.org (or call 1-800-363-8012), and http://www.nhanow.com/pharmacy-technician.aspx (or call 1-800-499-9092).

2- What type of questions are on the Examinations?

ANSWER: Please refer to their websites for information on their examinations.

3- If I am already nationally certified, or if I get nationally certified, can I go ahead and practice as a PT or PTT in West Virginia?

ANSWER: No. You must first get registered with the State before you start practice, even if nationally certified.

4- So, how do how do I become registered in West Virginia with my national certification?

ANSWER: You must have completed a competency-based pharmacy technician education and training program of a learning institution or training center as approved by legislative rule of the board; or completed a 960 hour pharmacy provided, on-the-job, competency-based education and training program approved by the board. If one of the aforementioned requirements is completed you may then submit an application for pharmacy technician, which includes and state and federal fingerprint based, criminal history background check with the results being released to The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

If you have not completed the education and training component then you must register as a PTT and do the training (see Question 6 below) before you can apply to then become a PT.

5- If I am registered in another state how can I become registered in West Virginia (reciprocity or license transfer)?

ANSWER: We don't have reciprocity given our training and national certification requirements.  You must have completed a competency-based pharmacy technician education and training program of a learning institution or training center as approved by legislative rule of the board; or completed a 960 hour pharmacy provided, on-the-job, competency-based education and training program approved by the board. Applicants must also be nationally certified via PTCB or NHA. If the aforementioned requirements are completed you may then submit an application for pharmacy technician, which includes and state and federal fingerprint based background check with the results being released to The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

6- I'm not nationally certified. How can I become a West Virginia registered pharmacy technician?

ANSWER: You must first apply to the Board (including getting a criminal background check) to register as a trainee, and either complete a school-based pharmacy-technician training program, or do an on-the -job training program where you work 960hours in a pharmacy in its training program within a 15-month period. Upon completion of the training program, you will have 90 days to pass one of the two approved national PT certification examinations to become registered, during which time you can continue to work as a PTT.  If you don't pass within the 90-day period, you must request an extension from the Board or stop working until you do. See PTT section below.

7- Do I need continuing education to be a West Virginia registered pharmacy technician?

ANSWER: No (but, yes). The Board does not have a CPE requirement for Pharmacy Technicians. However, to maintain PTCB or NHA CPhT certifications, you must comply with their requirements. PTCB and NHA have their own requirements for maintaining their certifications which include continuing education.

8- If I am not working do I have to renew my registration?

ANSWER: Yes and no, or not necessarily. If you do not renew, this will cause your registration to lapse. See next question.

9- If I do not renew my license in the designated renewal period are there any consequences?

ANSWER: You would have to complete a reinstatement application and pay reinstatement fees, and show proof of ongoing national certification.  If you were a PT who was grandfathered-in as a registered PT without national certification prior to the changes in the law, you would have to meet the new requirements and become nationally certified to be reinstated.

10- Do I have to let the Board know where I am working?

ANSWER: You must notify the Board in writing as to your place of employment and any change of address.

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Pharmacy Technician Trainee

2.3. "Pharmacy Technician Trainee" means an individual currently engaged in a competency-based pharmacy technician education and training program which has been approved by the Board and who is performing the duties of a pharmacy technician under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.

TEN (10) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1- Do I have to register with the Board of Pharmacy just to work in the pharmacy?

ANSWER: Yes.

2- How do I register to work as a trainee?

ANSWER: If you are going to do an on-the-job pharmacy-based 960-hour training course, the pharmacist-in-charge (PIC) must help you complete a Pharmacy Technician Trainee Application.  If you are enrolling in a school-based training program, the school must help you fill out the application.  As part of the application, you must get a state and federal fingerprint based criminal history background check to be reported to the Board, and have your application approved by the Board prior to beginning.

3- How long can I work as a pharmacy technician trainee?

ANSWER: If enrolled in a school-based program, then, so long as you are enrolled and actively working toward your degree or certificate.  If you are doing the on-the-job pharmacy-based 960-hour training course, then you have a maximum of 15-months to complete the training and have 960 hours in the pharmacy.  After you complete the training, you have 90 days to continue working while you try to pass a national certification exam.  If you don't pass, you can keep trying; you just can't continue to work.  However, the law does provide that you can petition the board to continue working if you are taking some approved re-training, or you can petition to start over at the beginning. This petition requires you to complete the pharmacy technician trainee extension request form located on our website under applications/forms.

4- What if I cannot get the 960 hours in a 15-month period.

ANSWER: You can petition the Board for more time provided you can show good cause for the need for the extension (e.g. medical leave during the 15 month period that prevented you from working the needed hours). This petition requires you to complete the pharmacy technician trainee extension request form located on our website under applications/forms.

5- How old do I have to be to work in a pharmacy?

ANSWER: The law does not contain a specific age requirement.  It used to require a minimum age of 18, but that provision was removed.  However, to become registered as a PT or PTT in West Virginia you must be a high school graduate or you must have a General Education Development Diploma (GED) issued by the Board of Education.  So, it is possible to become a PTT or PT prior to reaching the age of 18.

6- What if I have a criminal record (i.e., a misdemeanor or felony conviction in my criminal history)?

ANSWER: You must disclose all convictions on your application, whether a misdemeanor or a felony. To be eligible to be a PT or PTT, the statute requires the Board to find that you are not an alcohol or drug abuser (although you can be in demonstrated recovery), not have been convicted of any felony with the last 10 years prior to application, and not have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony if the offense bears a rational nexus to the practice of pharmacy.  The board will review the nature of the conviction to determine if it precludes you or not.  However, if you fail to disclose it on your application, then the board may deny your application for untruthfulness or failure to provide required information.

7- Will my hours count if I change jobs within my training period?

ANSWER: Yes, as long as they can be verified and the new pharmacy/PIC agree.

8- What do I need to wear?

ANSWER: Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy technician trainees shall wear appropriate clean attire and a coat, jacket, or apron of a color other than white, and have a proper name tag.

9- Can I transfer my PT registration from another state?

ANSWER:  No.  However, if you can show that you completed approved training, and are nationally registered, the Board will grant your WV PT registration based on that information.

10- Can a high school student be a PT or PTT, or can they "shadow" (observe) in a pharmacy?

ANSWER:  The law requires that, in order to be a pharmacy technician (PT), or a pharmacy technician trainee (PTT), one must be a high school graduate or its equivalent (GED).  The under 18 restriction was removed, but the graduation/GED requirement is still there.  (See West Virginia Code § 30-5-11 and Code of State Rules § 15-7-3 and 4.)  However, a high school student can go in and “shadow”.  They just cannot do any part of the dispensing process (prescription entry, review, filling, dispensing to patient, etc.), or any other duties that are restricted to pharmacists, PTs/PTTs, or pharmacist interns (pharmacy school students in college).  The Board has no requirements specifically on “shadowing”, except that the law requires no unauthorized personnel in the pharmacy unless the pharmacist ok’s them, and supervises their presence.  Again, no unlicensed/unregistered people can do any part of the dispensing functions, etc., but they can observe.