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Prog Transplant. 2013 Mar;23(1):23-7. doi: 10.7182/pit2013519.

Survey of transplant-related pharmacy services at large comprehensive transplant centers in the United States.

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  • 1Jefferson School of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) 2011 bylaws and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations require a transplant pharmacist to be an active participant in the care of transplant patients. Transplant centers must be members in good standing with UNOS in order to perform transplants and must be certified by CMS to participate with Medicare.


To identify characteristics of transplant-related pharmacy services at comprehensive transplant centers.


Survey regarding number of full-time equivalent (FTE) transplant pharmacists relative to number of annual transplants, transplant pharmacy model, roles in inpatient and clinic environments, training and specialization, funding sources, and expansion plans.Participants-Surveys were received from 14 (74%) of 19 identified centers that performed 200 to 400 kidney, liver, pancreas, simultaneous kidney/pancreas, heart, and lung transplants in 2010, representing 55 transplant pharmacists.


A mean of 325 transplants were performed in 2010 at the surveyed centers. The mean number of pharmacist FTEs was 4.25, which yielded a transplant-to-pharmacist ratio of 76.5. Nine centers (64%) practiced in a pharmacy specialist-only model, 12 (86%) practiced in a service-based fashion, and 10 (71%) saw patients in clinic. Fifty-four pharmacists (98%) had obtained a PharmD degree, 45 (82%) had completed 1 postgraduate year, and 28 (51%) had completed 2 postgraduate years of training. Nine centers (64%) funded FTEs solely through the pharmacy department. Ten centers (71%) plan to expand transplant pharmacist staff by a mean of 1.4 FTEs.


Large comprehensive transplant centers use multiple transplant pharmacists to perform patient care in the inpatient and outpatient environments. Most centers plan to expand FTEs. Further characterization of transplant pharmacists appears warranted.

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