Pharmacy Cheating Scandal In California – CPJE

While I like to focus my time on clinical pharmacy topics, I deeply care about the profession of pharmacy and wanted you to all be aware of this troubling situation. My friend Tony Guerra pays close attention to the numbers surrounding graduation and the pharmacy job market. Needless to say, he has been posting a lot of negativity lately. Pharmacy job losses seem to be happening all across the country. Even experienced pharmacists are having a difficult time getting jobs while new graduates and students are having a harder time getting residencies and their first job. I believe that the primary reason for this has been the rapid expansion of pharmacy schools.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for the profession, I was saddened to find out that there was a cheating scandal in California regarding the CPJE. Although the California Board of Pharmacy didn’t formally label it a cheating scandal, the actions of the board speak to the seriousness situation.

Because the credibility of the CPJE was “compromised”, the Board of Pharmacy is not releasing the CPJE results until further notice. Here’s the full statement from the CBOP website:

The California State Board of Pharmacy has received credible information indicating the validity and reliability of the California Practice Standards and Jurisprudence Examination for Pharmacists (CPJE) has been compromised. As a result, the board is not releasing the CPJE results until further notice. The board is conducting an investigation into this matter and encourages anyone with any information to contact the board at We will release more information as we are able to do so.

This situation is just sad, and I have so many mixed feelings about it. I’m thinking about all the students. My sympathy definitely goes out to those who have recently taken the CPJE and were not part of this scandal. With the current job market and not knowing if and when you might become licensed after spending 6-8 years of your life in school would be a very stressful burden.

If anyone hears about an update on this troubling situation, please feel free to leave a comment below or you can send me an email here. We will have better days as a profession.

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  1. Heidi Tuttle

    What happened to pharmacy being the most trusted health care profession? This story makes me extremely sad for our profession.

    • charlton lu

      for honest student they(who pass the test) should have one year temporary licence.

  2. Riddhi Pawaskar

    Dear Eric,
    This post is nice in it’s way and your clinical pearls have always been helpful. Since it is Suicide prevention month and the rates are increasing with time. Could you please make a post on the same. It would be insightful for all your readers.

  3. Cd

    After I took the naplex in 2007 all tests were halted due to cheating as well.

    • Eric Christianson

      I hadn’t heard about this before…do you recall how long it took to resolve the issue and what happened to the students who were caught?

      • Anna Santoro

        If I remember correctly there was a college professor who was giving students the test questions. They closed the Naplex for about 3 months and then released a new one with all new questions. Many of my colleagues weren’t able to test until October due to the freeze. I don’t remember hearing anything about consequences for those involved though.

  4. Col

    Agreed, this is awful for students and residents who had not taken the law test prior to July 8th (not positive on the date but had seen some cut off elsewhere). Are residency programs allowing temp licenses, etc? It would be a travesty for a resident to be dismissed because of this. Lets say they have to be licensed by Sept 30th, hopefully you get some leeway – but what if you failed and then trying to take it again… yikes.

    Sounds like the running rumor is someone took test with Google Glass(es) and shared with others, one of those folks then took the test in a very short amount of time (15 min when given several hours) and that caught the board’s attention. Such a bummer for a multitude of reasons.

    • Chau

      The person who took the test in 15 minutes must be pretty stupid if they didn’t think they would get caught. I bet they even cheated their way through pharmacy school… I hope this person’s application would get purge and they will never be able to obtain a california license for the next 10 years or something similar. At least if the BOP does that, it will set an example for all those who are thinking about cheating.

  5. kirk seale

    This is a horrible blow to the Pharmacy profession, Pharmacy students and the CBOP. Amid all the controversy surrounding college admission scandal and now this? It is very disheartening that students would even consider doing this although I understand this is not the first time that the CBOP has had something similar occur. It will be interesting to learn what happens to the students that were caught cheating and how this will be handled by the BOP.


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Written By Eric Christianson

September 22, 2019

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