The Board of Pharmacy received a letter from a Canadian pharamacist who is marrying a South Dakota guy (L’chaim! And nice catch, South Dakota guy!) who’d like to practice her profession here but finds South Dakota’s Freedom™ isn’t working for her:
To the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy:
My name is Claire French, and I am a licensed pharmacist in Ontario, Canada registered in good standing with the Ontario College of Pharmacists. My fiancé (an American citizen) and I are moving to South Dakota in the near future. However, there are several requirements and exams that Canadian trained pharmacists must complete before becoming eligible for registration in the state. These requirements may take years to complete, however I currently have the appropriate education, skills and experience to provide pharmaceutical care services in South Dakota.
Regarding my experience as a pharmacist, I graduated from the University of Waterloo’s pharmacy program in 2022 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. This program has been awarded Full Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP). I also successfully passed the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada’s written and practical exams to be able to practice in Ontario. Currently, I work in a community pharmacy where I provide a full scope of professional pharmaceutical care services in addition to dispensing and counselling activities….
Considering my qualifications, I am proposing that the Board grant an exception to the current registration pathway in South Dakota for Canadian pharmacists like me regarding the FPGEC certification, NAPLEX exam and internship requirements. The licensure of Canadian pharmacists is accelerated in other states like Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire and most recently, North Dakota. In these states, only the jurisprudence exam is required if the pharmacist is a graduate from a CCAPP university and currently practicing in their province. I am proposing to expedite licensure in South Dakota to the extent as reasonably possible as I believe I am fully qualified and competent to provide pharmaceutical care services in the state. I also understand from Governor Kristi Noem’s “Freedom to Work” workforce recruitment campaign that the state is seeking licensed professionals to relocate to South Dakota to meet the state’s ever-growing need for healthcare related services [Claire French, PharmD., B.Sc., RPh., letter to South Dakota Board of Pharmacy, 2023.08.31; board meeting handouts, 2023.09.14, p. 39].
South Dakota is short of pharmacy technicians but not pharamcists, at least not yet, although SDSU saw a dip in pharmacy school enrollment last year. But this incoming Canadian professional is smart enough to recognize that she should invoke our authoritarian celebrity Governor’s name to remind the Board of Pharmacy that they wouldn’t want to cross the Snow Queen’s nationwide marketing campaign, so she’s probably smart enough to be a good pharmacist. Stamp that license!