MPJE removed as requirement for pharmacist licensure in Michigan

The state of Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has removed the requirement to pass the MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam) — commonly called the “Law Exam” — for pharmacy licensure for first-time applicants and pharmacists moving into the state.

Although it is a national exam, the MPJE is uniquely developed for each state. For any pharmacist wishing to get a license outside of Michigan, a law exam will remain as required by that state. Currently, Idaho, Puerto Rico, Vermont, and the Virgin Islands do not require the MJPE, and Arkansas and California have created completely unique exams.

Pharmacy is a highly regulated profession and is the only health profession for which a separate law exam is required for licensure. This change places responsibility for assuring competence of new pharmacists to practice in a legal and ethical manner squarely on schools of pharmacy.

Pharmacists graduating from Wayne State University consistently pass the MPJE at rates above the national average. The Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) continues to require competence in law and ethics. A pharmacist graduating from Wayne State University learns about federal and state law in multiple courses throughout the didactic curriculum, with two courses focused on Pharmacy Law and Ethics. This requires students to demonstrate competence in the legal and ethical practice of pharmacy. In addition, students spend approximately one-third of their training in clinical practice, where legal and ethical practice are reinforced.

Pharmacy has been expanding its scope of practice and pushing for greater autonomy in patient care through immunizations, disease state management and medication therapy management. Practicing legally and ethically, along with sound clinical skills, is paramount to expanding practice. Following licensure, all Michigan pharmacists are required to complete an hour of continuing education in law and ethics every two years.

The decision by the State of Michigan to discontinue the exam has been controversial. Those wishing to keep the exam emphasize the complex laws that govern the profession and the role of the exam as a gatekeeper to verify legal competence, including pharmacists moving into the state of Michigan who were educated elsewhere. Those wishing to eliminate the exam quote the lack of correlation between exam results and patient safety or illegal activities. They also state that understanding of legal detail is not necessary because systems are in place to assure that elements of recordkeeping, documentation, inventory control and billing are completed within the scope of the law.

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Wayne State University is a four-year curriculum in the heart of Detroit. Approximately 100 students are enrolled in each year of the program. WSU Applebaum information meetings for prospective students take place at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. The application process for the Doctor of Pharmacy program begins each July.

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 24,000 students.

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