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The Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy offers a psychometrically valid and legally defensible board certification examination in geriatric pharmacy practice. Pharmacists who meet the criteria and pass the examination are entitled to use the designation “Certified Geriatric Pharmacist” and put the initials CGP after their name.
Licensure to practice the profession of pharmacy requires passing a licensure examination. This licensure exam covers a very broad range of topics and knowledge. The basic licensure examination does not ensure that the pharmacist has an in-depth knowledge of geriatric drug therapy.
Most training of health professionals involves learning about basic physiology, diseases, and the use of medications to treat disease. As a result, most prescribers and pharmacists tend to focus on the treatment of one disease at a time or the use of one drug at a time.
What is different about older adults is the common presence of multiple diseases at the same time, along with multiple medications. Older adults also frequently have diminished kidney and liver function, which may require different doses or the use of different medicines than in younger adults.
The geriatric pharmacist knows that the focus must be on the total patient, looking at all of the diseases and all of the medicines to evaluate appropriateness of drug therapy. The geriatric pharmacist also knows that the elderly are subject to conditions, such as falls, delirium, and cognitive impairment, that are not usually a concern in younger adults. Drug therapy must be evaluated with respect to the potential for medications to cause or worsen these “geriatric syndromes.”
The contributions of the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist are especially important as the population continues to age. The baby boomers in the United States began turning 65 in 2011 and the aging of the population will continue to accelerate.
Click on a link below for more information.
Promoting Excellence in Geriatric Health Care through Education and Certification