The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is facing a proposed class action lawsuit after it falsely reported – for the second year in a row – that hundreds of people had failed the all-important North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX ).
The 25-page lawsuit says some students, who after their undergraduate studies spent four years studying for their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, received “some of the worst news they would ever receive” when told by the NABP to wrong that they had failed the NAPLEX. The case highlights that the NAPLEX is the culmination of the academic careers of those who have earned a doctorate in pharmacy and are about to advance in their professional lives, similar to the bar exam for lawyers and the ‘US Medical Licensing Examination for Physicians.
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“A passing grade often confirms an employment contract, residency, or other opportunity,” the complaint reads. “A failing score, however, leads not only to trauma and distress, but also to demotions or even rescinded job offers. [sic] or residences. That said, the trauma and distress that accompanied [candidates] being told they had failed cannot be understated.
According to the case, the plaintiff, a Texas resident and one of approximately 600 people who took the NAPLEX between August 31 and September 8, 2021 and between July 30 and October 26, 2022, lost her license to intern, the ability to work his full-time job, and his part-time job, as a result of negligent scoring of the NABP test.
“For two (2) months, the plaintiff was led to believe that she had failed where she had succeeded. For two (2) months, Plaintiff was paid significantly less money than she would have been had it not been for Defendant’s wrongdoing. Then (two months later), the applicant learned that the NABP had been negligent in its scoring duties and that the applicant had in fact passed the NAPLEX. »
The case alleges that due to NABP’s negligence in scoring and producing the NAPLEX, hundreds of potential licensed/registered pharmacists were “subject to embarrassment, stress, pressure and negative connotations associated with exam failure. The filing argues that NABP’s express guarantees regarding NAPLEX create a contract between the agency and candidates whereby NABP promises to provide appropriate examination results.
Worse, NABP was aware of the problems with the NAPLEX grading system since the same thing happened to more than 400 students last year, the lawsuit alleges.
To become a pharmacist, a person typically must attend a four-year institution and major in a field such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or medicinal chemistry before taking the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) and apply to an accredited pharmacy school to earn a doctorate, the lawsuit says. Pharmacy applicants must also complete an internship/residency program and experiential learning in a pharmacy practice setting, the case states. From there, aspiring pharmacists must pass two licensing exams and meet any prerequisites set by the state in which they plan to practice, the lawsuit adds.
The NAPLEX is a standardized approximately six-hour computer-based exam developed by NABP to help state boards of pharmacy assess an applicant’s skills and knowledge for licensing. The test consists of 225 multiple-choice questions regarding drug therapy management, safe and accurate drug preparation and dispensing, providing drug information, and promoting public health, relays the combination. To take the test, candidates must apply for eligibility and pay a $100 application fee, as well as submit transcripts, purchase the exam for $475, and schedule a date with a testing center, says the folder.
Although the NAPLEX was previously scored on a numerical scale, requiring a 75 or higher to pass, in January 2021 the NABP began reporting only “pass” and “fail” scores, the combination says.
According to the case, this is not the first instance of “pharmageddon” caused by the failure of NABP to properly label NAPLEX. In 2021, after implementing its new pass-fail grading method, the governing body reportedly released incorrect test results for more than 400 students, some of whom were told they had failed when they had actually succeeded, while others who had failed were erroneously told that they had passed. .
“Weeks after the misgrading, NABP admitted to misgrading the exams,” the lawsuit shares. “At that time, the effects [sic] test takers had already lost coveted jobs and residencies due to false failing results reported by the NABP.
In 2022, it took about two months for NABP to notify NAPLEX takers of test scoring errors, more than a month longer than it took to disclose the issue last year, the case continues.
The trial aims to cover all individuals in the United States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands who took the NAPLEX test administered by NABP between August 31 and September 8, 2021 and from August 30, 2021. July to October 26, 2022 and to whom the Respondent sent a letter stating that his NAPLEX score had been calculated incorrectly and a correct passing score had been issued.
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