Understanding Certified Specialty Pharmacist Credentials, NASP Survey Programs


Having a certified specialty pharmacist (CSP) credential can help applicants get hired and be more impactful in the specialty pharmacy arena.

Having a certified specialty pharmacist (CSP) credential can help applicants get hired and be more impactful in the specialty pharmacy arena, according to a session at the virtual National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo on September 16, 2020.

Certification requires individuals to meet standardized criteria, usually in the form of education and experience requirements along with passing a certification examination, according to Reed Kalna, PharmD, CSP, APh. Certification is a voluntary standardized, objective tool for identifying competent professionals and is provided on a national level.

CSP certifications demonstrate a proficiency in specialty pharmacy management duties in a variety of practice settings and indicates expertise in specialty pharmaceuticals to employers, manufacturers, patients, and the public. As the specialty pharmacy field grows rapidly, a demand for clear standards and guidelines continue to grow, making CSP extremely important, according to Kalna.

“It helps prepare and provide confidence for technicians to identify and make meaningful, impactful interventions,” Kalna said. “It’s these rare conditions that help validate and provide understanding for certified pharmacy technicians.”

Maintaining a certification includes:

  • Having an active license in good standing
  • Individualized learning path questionnaire
  • 30 continuing education hours
  • Background and code of conduct attestation
  • Online recertification application

As for the latest NASP survey programs, the survey results have found that the specialty pharmacy industry needs to put their focus on greater resources into implementing technology-based solutions, according to Tom Jeffrey, president of SullivanLuallin Group and Dick Schirber, vice president of Planning and Customer Experience, Fairview Pharmacy Services.

These surveys for patients, providers, and pharma aim to provide consistent satisfaction metrics and reporting required by pharmaceutical manufacturers and payers while providing pharmacies and industry stakeholders with an understanding of satisfaction drivers.

The 2018/2019 patient survey was conducted from July 2018 to June 2019 to measure the key performance areas affecting patient satisfaction, such as billing, and pharmacy and staff performance. Out of 59,518 surveys sent, 9212 responded, including 17 participating specialty pharmacies, making the overall response rate 15.48%.

The results showed that specialty pharmacies received a net promoter score (NPS) of 78.04, which gauges the customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s product or service and the customer’s loyalty to the brand. However, the national NPS score for specialty pharmacies showed a slight decrease (78.0) compared with 2018 (78.6).

Jeffrey and Schirber said that the key driving shift for respondents between 2018 and 2019 was the specialty pharmacist’s ability to coordinate and deliver a timely, accurate patient prescription.

Looking ahead at the survey results, Jeffrey and Schirber both emphasized the importance of specialty pharmacies focusing on optimizing the myriad process steps and patient interactions that happen before the actual drug is dispensed. Further, improved access to, and communication with, pharmacy staff and shipment information can create more solutions, such as smartphone apps or enhanced website usability.


Jeffrey T, Kalna R, Schirber D. Understanding CSP Credential and NASP Survey Programs Overview. Virtual NASP 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo. Presented September 16, 2020. Accessed September 16, 2020.

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