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10/31/2002

NAPLEX, MJPE Exam Fees to Increase

Kate Traynor

Pharmacy school graduates who take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) or the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) next year should be prepared for a substantial fee hike.

Effective Jan. 1, 2003, the fee to take the NAPLEX will be $430—a 19 percent increase over the current exam fee. The cost to take the MPJE will increase by 31 percent, to $170.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), which oversees the licensure tests, said in a statement that the fee increases are needed to cover an increase in the "sitting fees" that the organization pays to the contractor that administers the tests. Also contributing to the increase was a decision by NABP to increase the portion of the testing fee used to offset the group's "steadily rising examination development costs."

After the increase, the sitting fees will account for 43 percent of the total NAPLEX fee charged to exam takers and 55 percent of the total MPJE fee. NABP noted that this portion of the fee, which is set by the test-site contractor, can increase each year but is expected to remain unchanged through 2004.

NABP said it negotiated with the test-site vendor to minimize the cost hike but still faced an 18-percent increase in the NAPLEX sitting fee and a 33-percent increase in the MPJE sitting fee.

The remainder of the examination cost, which is controlled by NABP and referred to as the "base fee," was last raised in 1996. NABP said that the revised base fees, which rose 20 percent for the NAPLEX and 31 percent for the MPJE, are unlikely to increase again until after 2004.

A list of frequently asked questions about the exam fee increase is available at the NABP Web site.