BPS Issues Call for Petition in Pain Management Pharmacy Practice

Washington, DC – The Board of Pharmacy Specialties® (BPS), the post-licensure certification organization serving the pharmacy profession, has issued a call for petition in Pain Management Pharmacy. The BPS Board of Directors reviewed a role delineation study (RDS) conducted in Pain Management Pharmacy during the October 2021 BPS Board of Directors meeting and found the results support further consideration of this new specialty.


In order for a new specialty to be recognized by BPS, the petition must address in detail each of the criteria deemed necessary for the creation of a new specialty: need, demand, number/time, specialized knowledge, specialized functions, education and training, and transmission of knowledge.


“The call for petition is a result of a two-year process conducted by the BPS Board of Directors to evaluate the role of the pharmacist in pain management that included a comprehensive practice analysis in 2019 and most recently a role delineation study.” Said 2021 BPS Chair, Hal E. Richards, PharmD, BCNSP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Critical Care Medicine at St. Joseph’s Candler Health System in Savannah, Georgia and Program Director for the PGY-2 residency in Critical Care Medicine and Clinical Assistant Professor with the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, “This action by BPS is another step to evaluate the contemporary body of knowledge and skills necessary for pharmacists to provide safe and effective pain management to patients with acute and chronic pain.”


In the review of the 2019 practice analysis by the BPS Board of Directors, the following were noted:

  • The appearance of increasing demand among employers for specialized pain management expertise across ambulatory, acute care, palliative care, and hospice services;
  • Available training programs for pharmacists, including, but not limited to, the growing number of accredited postgraduate-year-two residencies in pain and palliative care, along with focused traineeships; and,
  • An increase in demand of a specific body of knowledge and skills to provide effective pain management services to patients with increasingly complex care needs.


“I want to thank the members of Pain Management Pharmacy RDS Panel for the contribution of their time and subject matter expertise to this process as well as those pharmacists who participated in the RDS validation survey.” Stated BPS Executive Director William M. Ellis, MS, “Clearly the role of the pain management pharmacist has evolved over the past decade and BPS looks forward to receiving a petition to evaluate pain management as a pharmacy specialty.”


Once BPS receives the petition to recognize Pain Management Pharmacy as a BPS specialty, the Board will complete its review and render a decision within six months. If approved, a Pain Management Pharmacy Specialty Council would be established to work with BPS and its highly qualified psychometric staff to establish eligibility criteria and develop a bank of test items for the certification examination. For more information on the necessary criteria and other factors for consideration, individuals can go to the BPS Petitioner’s Guide for Recognition of a Pharmacy Practice Specialty document


About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) was established in 1976 as an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). The mission of BPS is to improve patient care by positioning BPS Board-Certified Pharmacist Specialists as integral members of multidisciplinary healthcare teams, through recognition and promotion of specialized training, knowledge, and skills for pharmacists in the United States and internationally. Board certification is a recognized credential for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels given the rigorous standards mandated by BPS board certification and recertification. BPS currently recognizes more than 51,500 active pharmacist certifications in 14 specialties.


BPS Media Contact
Alexander Jean-Baptiste
Senior Manager, Social Media & Content Marketing 
(202) 760-3836

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