The Iowa Board of Pharmacy requires 30 contact hours (3.0 CEU) of pharmacist continuing education for every two-year renewal. New pharmacists obtaining license by examination or score transfer in Iowa shall be exempt from continuing education requirements for their first license renewal.
Continuing education (CE) activities that carry the seal of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited provider will automatically qualify for Iowa pharmacist CE credit. At least 15 contact hours of the required 30 hours of pharmacist CE shall be in ACPE-accredited activities dealing with drug therapy topics including, but not limited to: adverse drug reactions, biotechnology, clinical monitoring and drug utilization review, disease state, drug delivery systems, drug information, drug interactions, drug product selection, drugs, medical compliance, new drugs, nuclear pharmacy, OTC therapeutics, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, substance abuse, and general therapeutics. The last two digits of the universal activity number will be 01 or 02.
ACPE-accreditd activity numbers with the letter L refer to live courses, H refers to home study or other mediated courses, and C refers to courses combining live and home study or mediated components. The final two numeric characters in the activity number identify the primary program topics: 01 = drug therapy/disease state management, 02 = AIDS therapy; 03 = law (related to pharmacy practice), 04 = general pharmacy, and 05 = patient safety.ACPE-accredited activity numbers ending in 01 or 02 qualify for drug therapy. A final character "P" designates the target audience is licensed pharmacists and a final character "T" indicates the activity is intended for pharmacy technicians. A pharmacist may use only pharmacist (P) courses to fulfill the continuing education requirements.
Pharmacists are also required to obtain two contact hours of CE in pharmacy law. Law CE must be from ACPE-accredited provider activities. The universal activity number for a pharmacy law activity will end in 03.
Two contact hours of CE dealing with patient or medication safety are also required for pharmacist license renewal. These hours may be obtained from ACPE-accredited providers (universal activity numbers ending in 05) or from non-ACPE provider activities pursuant to subrule 2.12(1), paragraph (a).
Remaining CE hours may be obtained through completion of activities provided by an accredited CME or other health professions provider if the activity content directly relates to the pharmacist's professional practice. CE offered by a non-accredited provider will not be accepted toward fulfilling pharmacist CE requirements.
Pharmacists shall retain in their personal files for a minimum of four years all activity certificates. The final three characters in the ACPE course number identify the program topic and type of course.
A pharmacist currently enrolled in health-related graduate studies may apply for exemption from continuing education requirements during the period of that enrollment. Application forms are available from the Board office. Exemption may be prorated based on the period of enrollment and the license renewal period. Applications for exemption from CE requirements should be completed as soon as possible following enrollment in the graduate program. Applications for exemption submitted with license renewal applications may delay the renewal processes beyond license expiration. For more information and forms, see Exemption Application.
Help Finding CE Programs
A new rule requires pharmacists to obtain two hours of CE in pharmacy law and two hours of CE in medication/patient safety. Here is how you can identify these credits:
- ACPE course identifiers in pharmacy law for pharmacists will end with "03P."
- ACPE course identifiers in medication/patient safety for pharmacists will end with "05P."
Note: Courses may end "L03P," H03P," or "C03P" or "L05P," "H05P," or "C05P."
To locate courses, check the P.L.A.N. website at https://www.acpe-accredit.org/pharmacists/programs.asp. Click on "Search P.L.A.N. Now" to open the search page. Select your search options and click "Search."