The mission of the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission is to promote public health and safety by establishing the highest standards in the practice of pharmacy and to advocate for patient safety through effective communication with the public, profession, Department of Health, governor and the legislature.
The Pharmacy Commission leads in creating a climate for the patient-focused practice of pharmacy as an integral part of an accessible, quality-based health system.
As a result, the citizens of Washington State:
- Are well informed about their medication therapy;
- Take responsibility and actively participate in their health outcomes;
- Utilize pharmacists and other healthcare providers appropriately; and
- Experience the highest level of health and wellness.
The mandate of the Pharmacy Commission is to protect the public’s health and safety and to promote the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers under its jurisdiction. The commission accomplishes this through a variety of activities working with the Department of Health, Health Professions Quality Assurance division.
Commission duties include:
- Regulating pharmaceutical care by licensing personnel and firms, set standards of practice, and follow up on complaints or violations by pharmacists, interns, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants, pharmacies and other pharmaceutical firms.
- Regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers under its jurisdiction by establishing, monitoring and enforcing qualifications for licensure.
- Establishing and monitoring compliance with continuing education requirements.
- Ensuring consistent standards of practice.
- Developing continuing competency mechanisms.
- Assessing, investigating and making recommendations related to complaints against healthcare providers under its jurisdiction and pharmaceutical firms which may range from a Notice of Correction to a revocation of license/credentials.
- Serving as reviewing members on disciplinary cases and serve on disciplinary hearing panels.
- Serving as members of standing committees, when appointed.
- Developing rules, policies and procedures that promote the delivery of quality healthcare to state residents.
The commission is made up of 10 pharmacists, a pharmacy technician and four public members appointed by the governor. Pharmacist members shall be representative of the areas of pharmacy practice and geographically representative of the state of Washington. Pharmacist members must have been licensed to practice pharmacy in Washington for at least the past five years.
All members must be U.S. citizens and must be residents of Washington.
Public member representatives shall be appointed from the public at large but shall not be affiliated with any aspect of pharmacy.
Commission Participation Expectation Guidelines
The following expectation guidelines are intended to serve as a reference for current members and for prospective appointees of the Pharmacy Commission:
- Attend regular commission meetings, scheduled for one to two days during business hours on Wednesday and Thursday every six weeks. The Pharmacy Commission establishes its meeting schedule one year in advance. The typical time commitment ranges between 19 to 24 days per year which also includes an annual commission workshop, and the Department of Health one-day board, commission, committee conference.
- Prepare for all meetings by reading materials one to two weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting date. The packets take an average of two to four hours to read prior to each business meeting. In addition, between four and 10 hours are spent reviewing complaint files prior to each meeting.
- Participate on disciplinary panels that may meet by telephone or in person 15 to 20 times per year for one hour. The panel meeting typically require one to two hours preparation. Sometimes panels meet with little advanced notice in order to respond to emergent situation to protect the public.
- Assist newly appointed commission members as necessary.
Total Annual Time Commitment
|Meetings/ Conferences *
||19 to 24 days per year
||18 to 36 hours per year
|Complaint file review
||36 to 120 hours per year
*Commission business meeting and disciplinary hearings are scheduled about every six weeks.
Performance Guidelines for Newly Appointed Commission Members
Attend an initial orientation about Pharmacy Commission and the Department of Health presented by Department of Health staff. This is about a day in length. Initial orientation outlines the legal authority of the commission, the roles and responsibilities of commission members, ethics, confidentiality, the legal liability of commission members and the Department of Health, the organizational structure of the Department of Health, roles and responsibilities of Department of Health staff, roles and responsibilities of staff attorneys and assistant attorneys general (AAGs), disciplinary processes, rule making and other issues.