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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, or other sexual orientations or gender identities (LGBTQ+) cultural competency training is offered in pharmacy curricula to variable extents. State legislation directly dictates pharmacist training through continuing pharmacy education (CPE) requirements.


This study aimed to identify the U.S. states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) that require CPE or training on topics related to LGBTQ+ cultural competency or topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in general. In addition, this study quantified and compared each state’s CPE hours required for each renewal period.


This cross-sectional study retrospectively examined pharmacy legislation on CPE requirements for each of the 50 U.S. states and D.C. Only state legislation that was signed into law and related to pharmacy practice was included. Official websites for each board of pharmacy were identified to locate lawbooks, laws, rules, regulations, and statutes specific to pharmacy practice. Search terms included “lgbt,” “lgbtq,” “cultural,” “cultural competency,” “equity,” “health equity,” “implicit,” and “implicit bias.” Two study investigators independently collected data from March 2023 to April 2023. Data were re-reviewed for accuracy in January 2024. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion until a consensus was reached. The total number of required CPE hours, years for each pharmacist license renewal, required LGBTQ+ cultural competency CPE hours, and required DEI-focused CPE hours were described using descriptive statistics.


A total of 44 of 51 states and D.C. required 30 CPE hours for each 2-year renewal cycle or 15 CPE hours for each 1-year renewal cycle. California and D.C. had LGBTQ+ cultural competency CPE requirements of 1 CPE hour or 2 CPE hours per cycle, respectively. Five additional states, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington, required training or CPE on topics related to DEI as a whole.


Few U.S. states require CPE on LGBTQ+ cultural competency. This study highlights the need for standardized pharmacist training in LGBTQ+ health care.


This article was originally published in Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, volume 64, issue 2, in 2024.



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