The NAPLEX Competency Statements provide a blueprint of the topics covered on the examination. They offer important information about the knowledge, judgment, and skills you are expected to demonstrate as an entry-level pharmacist. A strong understanding of the Competency Statements will aid in your preparation to take the examination.
In July 2014, a committee of subject matter experts reviewed the current statements and revised them to fit the most current standards for safe and effective pharmacy practice. The new Competency Statements will go into effect on November 1, 2015. Both the current statements and the revised statements are posted below. Learn more about the revision process.
Area 1 Assess Pharmacotherapy to Assure Safe and Effective Therapeutic Outcomes (Approximately 56% of Test)
- 1.1.0 Identify, interpret, and evaluate patient information to determine the presence of a disease or medical condition, assess the need for treatment and/or referral, and identify patient-specific factors that affect health, pharmacotherapy, and/or disease management.
- 1.1.1 Identify and assess patient information including medication, laboratory, and disease state histories.
- 1.1.2 Identify patient specific assessment and diagnostic methods, instruments, and techniques and interpret their results.
- 1.1.3 Identify and define the etiology, terminology, signs, and symptoms associated with diseases and medical conditions and their causes and determine if medical referral is necessary.
- 1.1.4 Identify and evaluate patient genetic, and biosocial factors, and concurrent drug therapy, relevant to the maintenance of wellness and the prevention or treatment of a disease or medical condition.
- 1.2.0 Evaluate information about pharmacoeconomic factors, dosing regimen, dosage forms, delivery systems and routes of administration to identify and select optimal pharmacotherapeutic agents, for patients
- 1.2.1 Identify specific uses and indications for drug products and recommend drugs of choice for specific diseases or medical conditions.
- 1.2.2 Identify the chemical/pharmacologic classes of therapeutic agents and describe their known or postulated sites and mechanisms of action.
- 1.2.3 Evaluate drug therapy for the presence of pharmacotherapeutic duplications and interactions with other drugs, food, and diagnostic tests.
- 1.2.4 Identify and evaluate potential contraindications and provide information about warnings and precautions associated with a drug product’s active and inactive ingredients.
- 1.2.5 Identify physicochemical properties of drug substances that affect their solubility, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, pharmacologic actions, and stability.
- 1.2.6 Evaluate and interpret pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic principles to calculate and determine appropriate drug dosing regimens.
- 1.2.7 Identify appropriate routes of administration, dosage forms, and pharmaceutical characteristics of drug dosage forms and delivery systems, to assure bioavailability and enhance therapeutic efficacy.
- 1.3.0 Evaluate and manage drug regimens by monitoring and assessing the patient and/or patient information, collaborating with other health care professionals, and providing patient education to enhance safe, effective, and economic patient outcomes.
- 1.3.1 Identify pharmacotherapeutic outcomes and endpoints.
- 1.3.2 Evaluate patient signs and symptoms, and the findings of monitoring tests and procedures to determine the safety and effectiveness of pharmacotherapy. Recommend needed followup evaluations or tests when appropriate.
- 1.3.3 Identify, describe, and provide information regarding the mechanism of adverse reactions, allergies, side effects, iatrogenic, and drug-induced illness, including their management and prevention.
- 1.3.4 Identify, prevent, and address methods to remedy medication non-adherence, misuse, or abuse.
- 1.3.5 Evaluate current drug regimens and recommend pharmacotherapeutic alternatives or modifications.
Area 2 Assess Safe and Accurate Preparation and Dispensing of Medications (Approximately 33% of Test)
- 2.1.0 Demonstrate the ability to perform calculations required to compound, dispense, and administer medication.
- 2.1.1 Calculate the quantity of medication to be compounded or dispensed; reduce and enlarge formulation quantities and calculate the quantity or ingredients needed to compound the proper amount of the preparation.
- 2.1.2 Calculate nutritional needs and the caloric content of nutrient sources.
- 2.1.3 Calculate the rate of drug administration.
- 2.1.4 Calculate or convert drug concentrations, ratio strengths, and/or extent of ionization.
- 2.2.0 Demonstrate the ability to select and dispense medications in a manner that promotes safe and effective use.
- 2.2.1 Identify drug products by their generic, brand, and/or common names.
- 2.2.2 Identify whether a particular drug dosage strength or dosage form is commercially available and whether it is available on a nonprescription basis.
- 2.2.3 Identify commercially available drug products by their characteristic physical attributes.
- 2.2.4 Assess pharmacokinetic parameters and quality assurance data to determine equivalence among manufactured drug products, and identify products for which documented evidence of inequivalence exists.
- 2.2.5 Identify and provide information regarding appropriate packaging, storage, handling, administration, and disposal of medications.
- 2.2.6 Identify and provide information regarding the appropriate use of equipment and apparatus required to administer medications.
- 2.3.0 Demonstrate the knowledge to prepare and compound extemporaneous preparations and sterile products.
- 2.3.1 Identify techniques, procedures, and equipment related to drug preparation, compounding, and quality assurance.
- 2.3.2 Identify the important physicochemical properties of a preparation’s active and inactive ingredients.
- 2.3.3 Identify the mechanism of and evidence for the incompatibility or degradation of a product or preparation and methods for achieving its stability.
Area 3 Assess, Recommend, and Provide Health care Information that Promotes Public Health (Approximately 11% of Test)
- 3.1.0 Identify, evaluate, and apply information to promote optimal health care.
- 3.1.1 Identify the typical content of specific sources of drug and health information for both health care providers and consumers, and recommend appropriate resources to address questions or needs.
- 3.1.2 Evaluate the suitability, accuracy, and reliability of clinical and pharmacoeconomic data by analyzing experimental design, statistical tests, interpreting results, and formulating conclusions.
- 3.2.0 Recommend and provide information to educate the public and healthcare professionals regarding medical conditions, wellness, dietary supplements, and medical devices.
- 3.2.1 Recommend and provide health care information regarding the prevention and treatment of diseases and medical conditions, including emergency patient care and vaccinations.
- 3.2.2 Recommend and provide health care information regarding nutrition, lifestyle, and other non-drug measures that promote health or prevent the progression of a disease or medical condition.
- 3.2.3 Recommend and provide information regarding the documented uses, adverse effects, and toxicities of dietary supplements.
- 3.2.4 Recommend and provide information regarding the selection, use, and care of medical/surgical appliances and devices, self-care products, and durable medical equipment, as well as products and techniques for self-monitoring of health status and medical conditions.
AREA 1 – Ensure Safe and Effective Pharmacotherapy and Health Outcomes (Approximately 67% of Test)
1.1.0 Obtain, Interpret, Assess, and/or Evaluate:
- 1.1.1 Information from patient interviews
- 1.1.2 Patient medical records
- 1.1.3 Results from instruments and screening strategies used to assess patients
- 1.1.4 Laboratory and diagnostic findings
- 1.1.5 Signs and symptoms associated with diseases and medical conditions
- 1.1.6 Patients’ need for medical referral
- 1.1.7 Risk factors relevant to the prevention of a disease or medical condition and the maintenance of wellness
- 1.1.8 Information from interdisciplinary health care providers
1.2.0 Develop and Implement Individualized Treatment Plans, Taking Into Consideration:
- 1.2.1 Specific uses and indications and dosing for drugs
- 1.2.2 Purported uses and indications for dietary supplements and complementary and alternative medicine
- 1.2.3 Lifestyle and self-care therapy
- 1.2.4 Pharmacologic classes and characteristics of drugs
- 1.2.5 Actions and mechanisms of actions of drugs
- 1.2.6 The presence of pharmacotherapeutic duplications and/or omissions
- 1.2.7 Drug interactions
- 1.2.8 Contraindications, warnings, and precautions
- 1.2.9 Allergies
- 1.2.10 Adverse effects and drug-induced illness
- 1.2.11 Pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacogenomic principles
- 1.2.12 Pharmacokinetic data to determine equivalence among drug products
- 1.2.13 Pharmacoeconomic factors
- 1.2.14 Routes and methods of administration, dosage forms, and delivery systems
1.3.0 Assess and Modify Individualized Treatment Plans, Considering:
- 1.3.1 Therapeutic goals and outcomes
- 1.3.2 Safety of therapy
- 1.3.3 Efficacy of therapy
- 1.3.4 Medication non-adherence or misuse
1.4.0 Techniques for Effective Communication/Documentation of the Development, Implementation, and Assessment of Individualized Treatment Plans to:
- 1.4.1 Patients and/or patients’ agents
- 1.4.2 Interdisciplinary health care providers
1.5.0 Advocate Individual and Population-Based Health and Safety, Considering:
- 1.5.1 Best practices, scientific literature evaluation, and health-related resources
- 1.5.2 Quality improvement strategies in medication-use systems
- 1.5.3 Processes, evaluation of, and responses regarding medication errors
- 1.5.4 Role of automated systems and technology in medication distribution processes
- 1.5.5 Emergency preparedness protocols
AREA 2 – Safe and Accurate Preparation, Compounding, Dispensing, and Administration of Medications and Provision of Health Care Products (Approximately 33% of Test)
2.1.0 Employ Various Techniques to Calculate:
- 2.1.1 Patients’ nutritional needs and the content of nutrient sources
- 2.1.2 Drug concentrations, ratio strengths, and/or extent of ionization
- 2.1.3 Quantities of medication to be compounded, dispensed, or administered
- 2.1.4 Quantities of ingredients needed to compound preparations
- 2.1.5 Rates of administration
2.2.0 Compound Sterile and Nonsterile Products, Considering:
- 2.2.1 Techniques, procedures, and equipment for drug preparation, compounding, and administration of sterile products
- 2.2.2 Techniques, procedures, and equipment for drug preparation, compounding, and administration of nonsterile products
- 2.2.3 Physicochemical properties of active and inactive ingredients
- 2.2.4 Identifying the presence of, and the cause of, product incompatibilities or degradation and methods for achieving stability
- 2.2.5 Physiochemical properties of drugs that affect solubility and stability
2.3.0 Review, Dispense, and Administer Drugs and Drug Products, Considering:
- 2.3.1 Packaging, labeling, storage, handling, and disposal of medications
- 2.3.2 Commercial availability, identification, and ingredients of prescription and non-prescription drugs
- 2.3.3 Physical attributes of drug products
- 2.3.4 Specific instructions and techniques for administration