For the fourth time in five years, every Butler College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) graduate who took the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam, the NAPLEX, passed on the first try.

That first-time pass rate for the national exam ties for third best result among the country’s 130 pharmacy schools. Of the 557 Butler graduates who have taken the test over the past five years, only one didn’t pass the first time. Last year, all 111 passed.

“It’s pretty nice to being that close to having everybody pass,” COPHS Dean Mary Graham said. “Imagine that you’re in the job of hiring new pharmacy grads. You’re going to have a lot more confidence hiring someone from Butler, realizing that consistently our graduates do so well.”

The NAPLEX measures a candidate’s knowledge of the practice of pharmacy and is used by the boards of pharmacy as part of their assessment of a candidate’s competence to practice as a pharmacist, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

The NAPLEX assesses whether a prospective pharmacist:

  • Can identify practice standards for safe and effective pharmacotherapy and optimize therapeutic outcomes in patients.
  • Can identify and determine safe and accurate methods to prepare and dispense medications.
  • Can provide and apply health care information to promote optimal health care.

Students can take the NAPLEX any time after graduation. It’s one of two tests they must take—along with a state exam to test their knowledge of the laws governing pharmacy in the state where they work—before they can practice pharmacy.

Graham said the first-time pass rate among COPHS graduates is a great source of pride in the College. It shows not only that the College is providing the knowledge students need, but that COPHS students are learning, integrating, and applying the information.

“I talk to a lot of employers of pharmacists, especially the chain pharmacies that hire pharmacists all over the country, and many of them say, ‘When we have an opportunity, even outside of the Indianapolis area or Indiana, we want to hire Butler grad,’ ” Graham said. “Not just because of the pass rate, but because they have a good work ethic, they understand what practice is all about, and can become integrated into an established practice pretty easily.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan