State Regulator begins Pharmacy pilot program for non-disciplinary infractions
Continuing Education Tracking Affords Safe Harbor to Licensees

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[March 03, 2016]  CHICAGO To increase regulatory compliance while reducing legal costs and regulatory burdens for licensed pharmacies, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has recently launched the Pharmacy Citation System Pilot Program. Under the new initiative, non-disciplinary citations will be issued for minor pharmacy infractions, such as failure to display current licenses in conspicuous locations or food and/or beverage found in undesignated areas. Historically, minor pharmacy violations such as these have triggered complete formal disciplinary processes, which are burdensome for both licensees and IDFPR, and divert attention and resources from more significant matters of public safety.

By streamlining minor pharmacy violations, IDFPR can effect a faster, smarter and more accountable regulatory experience, said Bryan Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. It is our belief that the Pharmacy Citation System Pilot Program will afford a significant savings of time and a better allocation of resources for both our licensed pharmacists and IDFPR staff. By issuing non-disciplinary monetary fines for minor infractions, our investigators will gain the means to spend more time in the field on more substantive matters that pose a greater risk to the health, safety and welfare of the public.

I am excited for this change, as it represents a common sense approach to handling minor pharmacy infractions that are needlessly vetted through IDFPRs formal disciplinary procedures, said Yash Patel, Illinois State Board of Pharmacy Chairperson. By enacting this change, regulatory burdens for pharmacists will be reduced without any compromise to the high standards patients have come to expect.

IDFPRs Pharmacy Citation System Pilot Program began on February 15, 2016 and will operate for a trial period until August 2016. IDFPR is one of the first regulatory agencies in the United States to implement a pilot program for minor disciplinary infractions.

Continuing Education Tracking affords safe harbor to licensees

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is encouraging licensees in the fields of Pharmacy and Optometry to avoid audits and stay in compliance by taking part in the recently launched voluntary continuing education (CE) tracking program. Qualified licensed professionals who utilize an IDFPR recognized online tracking service, and demonstrate compliance, will be granted safe harbor from CE audits. The move aims to save licensees the time involved in an audit, while allowing the state to avoid expending resources on individuals known to be in compliance.

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As our states regulatory agency, IDFPR is charged with safeguarding the public by ensuring that licensure qualifications and standards for professionals are properly evaluated, applied and enforced, said Bryan A. Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. By utilizing an existing third-party service, we will be able to gain an enhanced view of how continuing education is carried out by our licensed professionals, without increasing staff workload. Ultimately, the continuing education tracking services help licensed professionals stay compliant, while allowing for better protection of the publics health and safety through more effective oversight.

IDFPRs online CE tracking program begins on March 1, 2016. IDFPR currently recognizes tracking services offered through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry, Inc. IDFPR chose the industries of Pharmacy and Optometry to take part in the voluntary CE tracking program because these professions currently utilize CE tracking services to assist their own members. IDFPR anticipates expanding the online CE tracking program to additional licensed professionals in the future.

NABP is pleased to partner with IDFPR, the parent agency of the Illinois Board of Pharmacy, and believes that the CPE Monitor service will fill an important need for the agency and its licensees, states NABP President, Edward G. McGinley, MBA, RPh. CPE Monitor is a collaborative effort between NABP, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and ACPE-accredited providers, and is a powerful online resource that allows licensees to track their completed CPE credits as well as provides boards of pharmacy a means of ensuring licensees comply with state CPE requirements, thus furthering the mission to protect the public health.

To learn more about the voluntary CE program, visit the IDFPR website at: .

[Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation]


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