Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensure


Pharmacists compound and dispense medications pursuant to prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized health professionals (MD, DO, DDS, DVM, DPM, OD, PA, or ARNP). They weigh, measure, and mix drugs and other medicinal compounds, and fill bottles or capsules with the correct quantity and composition of preparation; dispense non-prescription medication to public; counsel patients and answer patients’ questions regarding prescription and nonprescription medication; use refrigeration and other methods to store and preserve biological and other drugs, vaccines, and serums subject to deterioration; order and maintain supplies of drugs, chemicals, and other pharmaceutical stock; maintain up-to-date patient medication profiles; advise physicians on the proper selection and use of medicines and potential drug interactions or contraindications; and perform prospective and retrospective drug utilization review. Pharmacists may administer immunizations. \\”Practice of pharmacy\\” is a dynamic patient-oriented health service profession that applies a scientific body of knowledge to improve and promote patient health by means of appropriate drug use and related drug therapy.

Code Citation IC124, 126, 147, 155A, and 272C

Who Applies Any person wishing to practice pharmacy in the State of Iowa. New graduates may license by examination or score transfer. Out-of-state, practicing pharmacists may license in Iowa via license transfer (reciprocity).

When To Apply If licensing by exam, an applicant should apply upon graduation from an accredited college of pharmacy. If licensing by reciprocity, an applicant may apply any time following licensure in the originating state. Licensure is required prior to commencing practice in Iowa.

Initial Requirements An applicant for a license to practice pharmacy must be a graduate of an accredited college or school of pharmacy with a minimum of bachelor of science in Pharmacy. The applicant must pass both the NAPLEX and the MPJE-Iowa examinations. One thousand five hundred hours of internship credit is awarded upon graduation from an accredited college of pharmacy. Intern registration is required prior to employment as an intern and prior to starting any curriculum-based training. No credit will be granted prior to registration. A license may be issued to anyone who has been licensed in another state if they are able to meet Iowa\\’s licensing requirements. A fee is due to the Pharmacy Board for such reciprocal licenses in addition to the appropriate fees to the original license state, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, as well as examination fees. License may also be granted to a graduate of a foreign college of pharmacy. The applicant must obtain certification from the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Commission, complete 1,500 hours internship, and pass licensure examinations.

Duration License expires the second June 30 after initial license is issued, except a new license issued between April 1 and June 29 will expire on the third thirtieth day of June following the date of issuance.

Processing Time Complete applications will be processed within five days of their receipt. Final processing is dependent upon completion and successfully passing all required examinations. A criminal history background check is also required of all initial applicants. Processing of that background check may take 60 to 90 days and must be completed before a license will be granted.

Fee Structure Application: Included in exam fee. Renewal: $180 (renewal is completed by written or online application including continuing education requirements) Exam: (Effective March 2022) $505 – (NAPLEX, computerized competency exam) to NABP. $250 – (MPJE-IA Edition, computerized federal & state pharmacy law exam) to NABP. $252 – Exam & License fee to Board of Pharmacy (includes a two-year initial license fee) plus $45 – criminal background check fee to the Board of Pharmacy $1052 – Total fees for license by exam. Other: For a license transfer, the fee to the Board of Pharmacy is $270 plus a $45 criminal history background check fee. These fees are in addition to the $250 fee to NABP for MPJE-Iowa Edition and a license transfer fee of $375 payable to NABP, bringing the total to $940.

Renewal Requirements In addition to completion of the license renewal application and submission with the appropriate renewal fee, pharmacists must complete thirty contact hours or 3.0 CEU of continuing education during the two-year license period. At least 50 percent of the required 30 hours must be activities accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) identified as drug therapy-subject courses. At least 2 hours must be ACPE-accredited activities in pharmacy law and at least 2 hours must be accredited courses in patient/medication safety. Pharmacists who administer immunizations must complete at least 1 hour in immunization. Pharmacists attest to completion of the required CE activities in or on the renewal application. Completed CEs may be audited and verified by the Board.

Exam Computerized examinations are administered daily at authorized computer testing centers nationwide.

Additional Information Any person wishing to practice pharmacy in the State of Iowa. New graduates may license by examination. Out-of-state, practicing pharmacists may license in Iowa via license transfer (reciprocity). Online license renewal is available for current licensees. See the Board\\’s website for additional information and links to online services.

Services Provided

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Contact Information
Melanie Givens
Iowa Board of Pharmacy
400 S.W. 8th Street, Suite E
Des Moines, IA 50309