Report Title:



Requires pharmacists to complete 30 hours of continuing education each registration period.


H.B. NO.












SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the profession of pharmacy is in constant change and is challenged with the continual development of new drugs, new drug therapies, and changes in evidence-based uses of drugs. The rise in consumer use of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, as well as nutraceuticals, herbs, and alternative drugs, also contributes to the increase in misuse, abuse, non-compliance, and medication errors--all of which factor into the high cost of drugs. The consumer depends on pharmacists to be fully informed about the proper use of drugs, side effects, potential contraindications, drug interactions, alternative therapies, and new drug products. The legislature further finds that Hawaii is the only state that does not require continuing education for pharmacists.

The purpose of this Act is to require pharmacists licensed in the State to complete a minimum of thirty hours of formal continuing education during each biennial registration period.

SECTION 2. Section 461-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Continuing education courses" means courses approved by the American College of Pharmaceutical Education and continuing medical education courses that serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, professional performance, and relationships that a pharmacist uses to provide services for patients, the public, and the profession. The content of the continuing education course is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the pharmacy profession as within the basic pharmaceutical sciences, the discipline of clinical pharmacy, and the provision of health care to the public.

"Continuing education hours" means, except as specifically provided otherwise, one clock hour spent satisfying the requirements of any category of continuing education or continuing medical education activities, which shall equal one credit hour for the purpose of satisfying the continuing education or continuing medical education credit hour requirements."

SECTION 3. Section 461-8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"461-8 Renewal of licenses[.]; continuing education requirements. (a) All licenses issued by the board, except temporary licenses issued under section 461-7, shall be renewed biennially on or before December 31 of each odd-numbered year. Failure to pay the biennial fee and submit proof of satisfying the continuing education requirements on or before December 31 of each odd-numbered year shall constitute a forfeiture of the license as of the date of expiration.

(b) Any license forfeited pursuant to subsection (a) may be restored within three years upon: payment of any penalty fee, the current biennial fees, and the renewal fee for the next biennium, if applicable[,]; proof of satisfying the continuing education requirements for the prior biennium; and meeting any other requirements specified in rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91.

(c) In the event that the pharmacist has not engaged in the practice of pharmacy in this State or in another state or territory of the United States within the past five years, the board may require the pharmacist to satisfy additional requirements, as specified in rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91, to demonstrate that the pharmacist is competent to practice in this State.

(d) At the time of the biennial renewal, not later than December 31 of every odd-numbered year, each licensee shall have completed at least thirty hours of continuing education courses within the two years preceding the renewal date, regardless of initial date of licensure, except in those cases where a licensee has graduated from an accredited pharmacy school within one year from the initial date of licensure. The board may extend the time for compliance with the continuing education requirements based on the following:

(1) Illness, as certified by a medical doctor currently licensed in accordance with chapter 453 or chapter 460, or licensed in the state or jurisdiction in which the applicant was treated;

(2) Military service on extended active duty with the armed forces of the United States;

(3) Practice in isolated geographical areas with an absence of opportunities for continuing education courses by taped programs or otherwise; or

(4) Inability to devote sufficient hours to continuing education because of incapacity, undue hardship, or any other extenuating circumstances.

(e) Licensees shall be responsible for maintaining their own continuing education records. At the time of the renewal, each licensee shall certify that the licensee has complied with the continuing education requirements as set forth in this section. The certification shall be under oath. The board may require any licensee to submit, in addition to the certification, further evidence satisfactory to the board demonstrating compliance with the continuing education requirements set forth in this section.

(f) To determine compliance, the board may conduct a random audit. A pharmacist selected for audit shall be notified by the board. Within sixty days of notification, the pharmacist shall provide to the board documentation to verify compliance with the continuing education requirement.

(g) A false certification to the board by a licensee shall be deemed a violation of this chapter and subject the licensee to disciplinary proceedings and automatic forfeiture of the license."

SECTION 4. The board of pharmacy is required to communicate this Act to all licensed pharmacists within ninety days of approval.

SECTION 5. This Act shall apply to license renewals for the biennium beginning January 1, 2006. Random audits shall take effect after December 31, 2006.

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.