FILIPINO GRADUATE INTERN PHARMACIST experience (AFTER FPGEE BEFORE NAPLEX)

Hi everyone, it has been a while since I last blogged. It’s just a month to go then I will be completing my internship hours. I know that after passing the FPGEE and TOEFL this is another obstacle since the recession made it difficult for foreign grads to find internship position in the location most accessible to them.

It has been a great experience overall since the practice of pharmacy in Philippines is totally different. Pharmacist here are called “doc,dr” and they do deserve it, they know not just the drug but they can even diagnose which I did not know how after graduating from a pharm school. Maybe I do but not as in depth from what they studied here but it can be learned through books, reading and experience. It is a plus factor being a doctor of medicine of course but I know if I did not pursue graduate school it is not impossible to pass FPGEE but it will just take more effort and patience.

Anyways, I worked with clerk and technician in an independent pharmacy and mostly we handle derma prescription since we are next to dermatologist. It is not as busy as the big chain so I was able to learn everybody’s task, which is good so that if you don’t have the tech or clerks you still know how to manage on your own. It is a whole new experience for me answering a call, dealing with the customers, greeting everyone “Hi , How are you, How may I help you, Thank you and Have a good day”……. we did not have these in Philippines. I do not remember going to pharmacy being greeted like this well hindi lang siguro ako sanay since when I got here I have to get accustomed to that not just in pharmacy but in any establishment here. Being able to compound some RX is nice too since not a lot does that. What I had difficulty with at the beginning is running the computer, there are commands that you have to know so you can transmit to the insurance. Wala din insurance sa Phi to transmit the prescription bills, mostly its cash in Phi. Well in the end I guess in any field thats why there is such a thing called internship is for us to get used to the ways and system so that it will be easier to troubleshoot and work when we become full-pledge professionals. I know everybody has different experiences, good or bad share it here so that others can learn from it and expect these things to come.

290 Thoughts.

  1. Hi Abby,It’s good that I’ve found your website because I have a lot of things that I need to know. I used to work as certified pharmacy technician in Tracy,California. Now I am here in the Philippines taking up B.S. Pharmacy but it makes me sad knowing that the Board of Pharmacy is not accepting anymore foreign pharmacy graduates with a 4 yr. curriculum. It is not a guarantee that after taking a B.S. Pharmacy and then pursuing a Doctorate degree will qualify me to take the FPGEE. That’s why I am trying to finish my subjects for this sem so that I can present it na lang as my continuing education to renew my PTCB certification. Do you know of any university/college here in the Philippines that offers a 5 yr. Pharmacy course? How about the B.S. Industrial Pharmacy in UP? It is a 5 yr. course. Is it acceptable? Thanks and hope to here from you.

  2. Hi Abby, Congratulations. You’re almost a rph in the United States and just for the record, your fighting spirit is just so inspiring. I’m from UST also BATCH ’89 (ang tanda ko na no). I’ve taken fpgee before and I’ve failed a lot of times already. Maybe because it has been a long time since I’ve graduated. I could hardly remember much what I’ve learned from school. I’m from New York.I don’t want to be a pharmacy tech anymore. I feel that I’m too old for this job. Do you think that I still have the chance to pass fpgee? Goodluck to you and keep it up.

    • Almost, hopefully everything goes well and I stick to my schedule of study. Having a son is a new responsibility for me that I did not have when I studied in the past, so I hope I will be able to have enough energy to study. Thanks so much for visiting the site and for your kind words. I know as we get older it changes but it shouldn’t be a hindrance, meron ako nakasabay sa test she is batch 75 UST and it took her several years too, 5 or 6 times until she passed it. It just takes more effort I guess, kahit ako nafru-frustrate sa sarili ko kasi I am used to studying and memorizing faster than what my study pace right now is. But we can’t do anything about our aging process what we can do though is cope up and put some extra effort and energy. What we may have right now will be more motivation because we are more mature and we have family depending on us.I keep my outlook positive as I believe that it is not impossible for you to pass so must you. As I said if you fail once then do better the next times and put more heart and effort. And I always believe in praying a lot, ask for guidance that you will be able to study or touch up whatever questions that may be asked for FPGEE. “Asked, knocked and beg and it shall be given unto you”. Keep your hopes up. Best of luck ! Keep me posted.

  3. Hello Abby! I am also a Licensed Intern Pharmacist here in the Bay Area but have not even started getting hours for internship. It’s been tough finding an internship position. I currently work as a Team Leader for Pharmacy Services in one of the biggest Health Plans in California. This position is not considered an Intern position as far as I know. Although I closely work with Drug Utilization Review Clinical Pharmacists. I went through FPGEE and TOEFL, then now, awaiting for calls from hospitals and chain/independent pharmacies for internship. I have experience what you went through. I’ve worked at a teaching hospital at UCSF, at Walgreens and now in Managed Care. Managed care is the best for me . We get to know the new FDA drugs approved before they go out in the market. Learn the different indications of all these drugs. Hopefully, I can get my foot on the door and start my internship hours. Email me if you know of anyone needing an intern. I am available even on a part time basis for now. You have a bright future ahead of you. Good luck for the NAPLEX and CPJE. Thank you for having this blog for people like us.

    • Thanks for visiting our site, hopefully if you encounter some of the questions coming from our kababayans feel free to reply and answer their inquiries. I would want to work and be exposed to what you are doing now. I find that interesting and I think my background as an MD with be very useful to be on that kind of field. Hopefully when I pass I will be able to find that kind of position in our area. I will inform you if I come across some position. I know it is difficult that is the reason why I ended up doing volunteer for awhile. Well you have to do what you have to do, right? Wishing you all the best, keep me posted.

  4. Hi Abby and Win. Thank you so much for sharing with us your experiences. I passed the FPGEE April 2010 and already done with the TOEFL. After the euphoria of passing both exams, I am now at loss on what to do. All I know is that I am now eligible to take internship in the US after being given the FPGEC certification.I am still uncertain as to which state I would like to apply. Do you know any openings for interns there in CA? My friends who passed the SEpt 2009 still couldnt get an internship job. Most employers would prefer applicants already in the US as this saves them the trouble of sponsoring the VISA etc etc.Can you please share with us how you found one after passing? Thank you very much.

    • I know it hard to find internship specially if you have to be sponsored. Unfortunately I do not know any company willing to sponsor other than the the big ones like cvs, walgreens, and rite aid. But from what I heard they are cutting back on these ones too. You can try and go to their websites to apply.Best of luck

  5. Hi! abby, I am also an intern pharmacist in CA,i am currently based here in th e bay area.im happy for you that you are going to be done with your internship.will you help find websites where i can apply as an intern.as of now walgreens and rite-aid are already not accepting interns while cvs doesnt support the 1500 hours internship anymore.im afraid that my license would expire and haven’t started with my internship.i would also like to ask if you have any contact info of “LJAM”.?i hope to hear or see a reply from you.

    • I only applied through the website, I ended up doing independent retail though. I will try to look for the. Contact info and email you. It’s getting tougher to find internship positions even my friends working for the big retail companies says they are really cutting back.Best if Luck

  6. hi! abby thank you for the reply.i don’t need a sponsor because i am a permanent resident already.all i need now is somebody who can refer/endorse me to such companies.i have also tried applying to hospital pharmacies like kaiser but i dont get any response.how will i be able to look up for small/independent pharmacies here in our place?

  7. hello, pot, I just received my intern license a couple of months ago. it’s a challenge talaga maghanap ng intern ngayon, I’m also looking but very difficult because I also have a full time job which i’m not willing to give up. The best way is to go to small independent pharmacies not on chain, they don’t take foreign graduates anymore. I was just informed on my last visit at a vons pharmacy that they have 1000 students graduating this year so they are our competition. go the the stateboard of pharmacy in california website to see local listing of pharmacies in your area or google it. Good luck!

  8. Hello Pot! You are in the same situation I am. I know it’s been difficult. I can’t find anything close to home. If ever there is one, maybe in Napa, Stockton or Sacramento. Go ahead and contact me via email. Thanks!

  9. Dear Abby and everyone,I would like to sit for the FPGEE on September 2010 so I sent my documents to NABP last week. This morning I received a deficiency letter from NABP. It says that after careful review of my application materials, the following deficiencies were identified:APPLICATIONTRANSCRIPTWe await the arrival of the ECE General Evaluation Report. Please note that the evaluation process will not proceed until the General Evaluation Report is received from ECE. Upon receipt of the report, the FPGEC will notify you in writing as to the status of your program file.DIPLOMA/DEGREELICENSE/REGISTRATIONOTHER(So what does this mean? I’m deficient of my application form? But of course I submitted an application form! I also submitted a red-ribboned authenticated copy of my license/registration. And my transcript of proof of degree I sent to ECE. What should I do? I feel very saddened by this letter. Please help me.):(

    • hi Vienna when did you submit your ECE letter, it seems to me that they are waiting for the confirmation that ECE evaluated your file and is deemed eligible. If you haven’t received your copy yet then most likely they(NABP) haven’t too. Contact ECE and follow-up the status of your application. Keep us posted.

  10. hi nelia diloy, st. paul university in tuguegarao offers a 5-yr curriculum. i graduated year 2005 at the said school and have passed FPGEE 2yrs ago but too bad i’m stuck with TOEFL.Hi Abby, thanks sa paggawa ng blog.im losing my hope in becoming a US RPh.

  11. Yeah I submitted my documents to ECE already. I called them up a while ago and they said my evaluation report isn’t finished yet. I’ll keep you posted, Abby. Thanks so much. This blog of yours is really helpful! :-)Lala, don’t lose hope! Just think how lucky you are to have already passed the FPGEE! Good luck on your TOEFL. You might want to purchase Kaplan’s TOEFL iBT book. 🙂

  12. I have toefl reviewers if you need some, cd and books from morris cody. Also have FPGEE books and cds as well. let me know if any want them. it’s quite easy really. practice lang and toefl.

  13. Hello Abby and everyone C:I needed advice from the experts..cause I’m new to all of this and I know that you guys can help me. I’m a fresh graduate from UST and I just got here in New York last April. I didnt have the chance to take the recent Pharmacy Board Exam last June 2010 because I needed to go back here to save my residency. I’m so frustrated cause I still needed a year to study to complete that 5year-curriculum requirement and I also don’t have the license from the Philippines. What do you think is the best thing I could do? Do I need to pursue my studies here in US ? Thanks so much. I really wish that someone would share her time to help me. GODBLESS 

    • You may need to do a completion course to be able to be qualified to seat in for fpgee. After that you can try to apply to ece and have your credentials evaluated if they do require the license then there is no other way but to go back and pass the PRC boards for pharma. You can read some more info on what others have experienced by reading thru the comments since they are on the same predicament. But this is my personal opinion. Hope this helps.

  14. hey everyone, im also in US right now. i didn’t take the fpgee coz im not allowed, so i took the pharm tech exam instead. i’ve already passed it but it is indeed very hard to find a job here esp if the companies are going to sponsor you. what can we do instead?

  15. Hello, Gelly! I’m a UST graduate too. I graduated in 2009, and then I studied in UIC Davao for 1 year and graduated again last March 2010. I took the board exam in the Philippines and I got my PRC license last April 2010. Now I am here in California, waiting for my approval letter from NABP, so I could sit for the FPGEE on September 30. I sent the NABP and ECE requirements last June 21.Gelly, I think it would be best for you to do the same: Take the board exam in the Philippines, enroll in UIC Davao, then apply for FPGEE. Good luck to you! 🙂

  16. hi Abby! i’m a foreign registered pharmacist in Philippines but I live in California. I got married to my long time boyfriend. he was from my country but he is already a citizen in the US since 1995.Abby, I practiced as community pharmacist from 2001 up to 2010 in my own pharmacy business in the Philippines. Do I still need the internship in California? pls help me on how to apply the Pharmacy Licensure Exam for Pharmacist since I am a foreign pharmacist. I still have no work since I migrated in Ca few months ago. What are the forms needed for me to fill out.Pls email me to [email protected] thank you.

  17. Hi! Thank you so for your replies, I really appreciate 🙂 @abby Thank you so much. I’m planning to go back to school but it’s so hard to enroll here in NY unless you’re a recent US graduate. But I really do hope that I would complete all the requirements as soon as possible. :)@RozuHime Ive heard so much about UIC, and its a good school too.I hope I could get back soon in the PH to follow what you did. If you have a chance, would you please give me some info regarding the school? Thank you so much po for your help, it really means a lot to me :)PS. Ive been wanting to take pharmtech exam for the mean time, do you have any suggestions on how to pass the exam? Thank you C:

  18. Hi, Gelly! I took the PharmTech exam just yesterday and I passed! I’ll receive my license within 3 weeks. It was really easy, especially for pharmacy graduates like us. I bought “Pharmacy Technician Certification Review & Practice Exam” by Linda Y. Fred last week. The book is very thin and concise (108 pages only). You can read it in just two sittings. If you’re good at basic calculations, I’m very confident that you will pass. I advise that you take it ASAP so you can also apply for a job ASAP. :-)Regarding UIC: The tuition fee is somewhat like that in UST, 45k in 1st sem, 35k in 2nd sem. First sem is comprised mostly of classroom lectures and online assignments, while the entire second sem you will spend on clinical pharmacy internship (360 hours) either in Davao Doctors Hospital or San Pedro Hospital, plus Saturday classes.Admission requirements are Transcript of Records, NSO birth certificate, Resume, and Honorable Dismissal. The dean also said that it is preferable if you already are a board passer when you take the 5th year program because license is required for the internship during the 2nd sem.Good luck to you! Keep us posted. God bless. 🙂

  19. Hi RozuHime,Thank you so much for all the info. I purchased the book today, and I’m hoping that it’ll also help me pass. Did you try the PTCE Practice Exam on their Website? I’m planning to take the exam hopefully next month. :)Those infos will be a really huge help for me. My parents and I are talking about UIC already :)Thank you SO much. So you think I need to get a license first before enrolling in UIC?Sorry for asking too much questions.. but I really appreciate your help. God Bless 🙂

  20. Hi Miss Abby,I have a problem and I am hoping that you or someone can please help me.I am a US citizen who went to pharmacy school in the PI and became licensed in the PI in 2003.I am applying for the FPGEE and the NABP is citing a 2009 Filipino law, Republic Act No. 5921, Section 18 that states only natural born citizens of the PI may be a pharmacist in the PI.Well, I have submitted letters from the PRC and a copy of my ID and certificate, and the NABP doesn’t believe me, as they still cite the 2009 law. I tried to explain that I was licensed in 2003.Does anyone know of any amendment to the 2009 allowing foreigners to be licensed?

  21. The 2009 law also reads that a Filipino pharmacist has to have a 5 year degree.So, how do I make the NABP UNDERSTAND that the law changed, and previously, for example, one only needed a 4 year degree to be a pharmacist and that I am a pharmacist?

  22. Hello, Philip! So you became licensed in 2003, but did you also graduate in 2003?The FPGEC Bulletin states this:”…if you graduated on or after January 1, 2003, you must have completed at least a five-year pharmacy curriculum at the time of graduation.”I checked out the Pharmacy Law of 2009. Nothing has been said about the “natural-born citizens” in Section 18; but in Section 13, it has been stated that an applicant for the examination must be a citizen of the Philippines or a foreign citizen whose country/state has reciprocity with the Philippines in the practice of pharmacy.

  23. Hello all. My niece just passed her Pharmacist board exam in June 2010.How can she get a visa to come to the United States to take the FPGEE and TOEFL iBT? Besides marriage and employer sponsorship, is there any other way she can get a visa so she can take the exams?

  24. Thank you for clarifing that, RozuHime. I believe your research sure helps other FPGEE takers who are in the same situation.

  25. Hi Abby and everyone!I am also a foreign grad, and after passing FPGEE and TOEFLibt, have recently started my internship. Like you Abby I had no luck from chain stores, so I found a spot in a private pharmacy. Since you are doing your internship in a similar setting I have a question that you might be able to answer:If chain stores are NOT accepting foreign grads as interns anymore, and when they hire pharmacists, they prefer to hire their own interns who are now graduated, so that means that we, foreign pharmacy grads are NOT going to ever be hired in a chain pharmacy?I am doing my internship but i am very hopeless that it is not going to land me any job in chain stores. Have you ever had this thought? Please respond.

  26. Hello, Jim. Congratulations to your niece! She can apply for a tourist visa so she could take the FPGEE and TOEFL iBT in the US. But in the end, she will still end up applying for employer sponsorship so she could get a working visa.

  27. So glad to have found this blog of fellow kababayans in pharmacy. I finished my FPGEE and Toeflibt and is currently awaiting for my naplex results… 🙁

  28. Foreign pharmacy graduates like us, undergo quite an intensive amount of stress to get our license to practice, especially if you are also raising a family. Passing the FPGEE exams felt like I have finally passed through a needle’s hole, one down 3 to go, ToEFLibt was next and got lucky there. I would say that your internship experience is quite vital in the naplex exam. Your familiarity with brand/generic, compounding, drug forms and strengths, storage and key counseling points ofthe top200 drugs . for the Naplex exam, I used rxprep and apha for theory and prontopass math. Naplex q’s were random so I would say at least read through everything once, whatever reference you’re using. Lots of patient profile q’s , math q’s (loaded, nahimatay ako sa dami- tpn, flow rates), statistics , oncology, dm,know your lab values, htn. And to top it off, meron pang fill n the blank.. Innnaaayyy ko po… Took a 5 minute break para makahinga in the middle to the exam and to ask for divine intervention. Before I left for the break, I thought I was doing ok timewise because I only had 40q’s left with 2 hours to spare… Wwwrrroongg, 35 of those q’s were math so in the end I only had 5 minutes to spare at the end of the exam. It was like a mental marathon. Tough exam . So now the waiting game continues , hoping and praying for the best.

  29. hi everyone,I graduated last march 2003 and passed the licensure exam in the same year, I want to take the fpgee but since they made some changes with the 4 yr curriculum to 5 yrs , do you have any idea how can I be eligible with the criteria? is going to grad school can help? thanx a lot …

  30. may glut ng pharmacists sa suspect states its not like it was a few years ago and the current unemployment numbers should favor US citizens as some of you already are (fortunately!)for the rest of us looking for sponsorships to do internship mahaba haba pang hintayan unless we have personal family referrals.in the meantime, meron training dito sa manila beginning end-august to keep you abreast of developments and what to expect when you start internship.if interested drop me a note [email protected] you are in like situation (FPGECertified hoping for H1B) feel free to drop me a note anywaysalamat sa blog mo abby you continue to inspire your kababayans mabuhay ka

  31. to fionait’s good enough you can get the hours to be able to sit for NAPLEX etc when you become RPh licensed you need not worry if you are a foreign graduate

  32. to corerevthanks for sharing your experience indeed what i hear is fpgee mas mahirap broad sciences while naplex is more clinical patient focus, a really good internship is key

  33. Hello there,It’s so nice to find this blog and mag-tsika-tsika. I am also a Thomasian, graduated 1990, so yes, almost 20 years ago, yakiiii, tanda na po ano? I passed FPGEE and finished my Internship. Now here’s the challenge….the NAPLEX!!! The first I took it, my preceptor told me that I don’t need to really study so much because I am already good on my counselling and said that NAPLEX is more on counselling… WRONG!!! If you don’t know your MATH, you wont make it. Got a 37 the first time. The second round, I studied, I read Apha and go through with MATH, ordered ProntoPass, and still, I failed with a score of 58. I am so mad at myself but being a fighter, and I don’t easily give up, I tried it the 3rd time, but I guess, this is not for me. A few week before my exam, my 3 year old twins was diagnosed of Autism. It breaks me. And with them on my mind, what will happened to their future, I just managed to get 63. Our state only allowed 3 chance. so I basically lose it all. After being accept the fact and realize that I need more to get this license to help my kids, I wrote a letter to the board to grant me last chance. After writing back and fourth I was allowed for another last chance. I told myself, this is it, I studied so hard. I went to a course in California, 1 week and I practice a lot of Math. I looked everywhere for Math questions to practice, time comes, I am ready. I schedule my test. 1 month before the exam, our landlord complains about my kids noises, and it bothers their other tenant, so on the weekend, where it was supposed to be my study schedule, we are busy looking for another place. Anyway, I should have postponed my exam, I am planning too, but then when I went to the website, I have to pay $50 for re-scheduling, and I don’t have any money, since I’ve been out of job for 8 months and with my husband’s salary, we are just living on a “pay-cheque- to paycheque” scenario. So, i said, okay, I will just do it. I got the result after 3 days… 74….. would you believe!!!!! Now, I don`t know what to do. I lost all my chances. Is it the end of my carreerIs there anybody there with the same experience. Please advice.

    • Thanks everyone for helping Maria and helping each other out. I am planning to make it easier to read and share through our blog by putting together the topics or question that goes together after I’m done with NAPLEX. I am sorry if I haven’t been blogging much since I am studying for the test and trying hard to focus. I appreciate the time and effort of all who shares their stories and experiences to inspire and guide our fellow kababayans. God bless us all!

  34. @Maria Maybe you should check on a number of pharmacy state boards that doesn’t have a limit on passing the naplex such as Nevada .

  35. @ Corerev, hi, thanks for your response. Does Nevada does not have any limit on how many times to take the NAPLEX? I will call the board. Thanks for the suggestion.

  36. To Patinghangin:Thanks for your response. Today there was a floater pharmacist supervising were i do my internship & he told me that CVS is no longer hiring new foreign grads. He was also a foreign grad and now works in CVS. It broke me so bad i’m feeling so depressed, I don’t know what to do. Has anybody else heard something like that? or perhaps he is making it up?? I’m lost. Please help. thanks

  37. To Maria;just keep breathing. When times are tough, we all feel like loosing it, like it’s over, like we are not going to make it ever. It has happened to all of us before. We have all been there.What happened to you is because of the nature of NAPLEX administration. The computer records your answers and choses the next question based on how you did in previous ones. So if you do good in math, it will strat bring in other things. if you make a mistake in lets say counselling, it will start pulling more and more questions on that issue. That is why your preceptor said its all about counselling. Perhaps he/she experienced dificulty and therfore lots of counselling questions. Same thing happened to you on the math.System does that, so that they can make sure you know enough of each section. The key is to have a balanced knowledge of everything…and you will make it, if you were able to go through FPGEE you will make it.Keep breathing 🙂

  38. Thanks Fiona for the encouragement. Don’t mind whatever your floater Pharmacist was telling you. Once you’ve got your license, no matter if you are a foreign pharmacist or a US graduate, you will get the job. Ang kawawa lang iyung mga kababayan natin na nasa Pinas pa o kaya iyung di pa nakakapag-start ng Internship. Kasi iyun ang mahirap, I think naka- tie up ang mga companies sa iba’t-ibang US Universities na bigyan ng priority ang US graduate/ student, syempre pa diba? Ang dami na kaya ngayong nag-eenrol ng Pharmacy, hay!!! Pero mga sa mga kababayan natin dyan sa Pinas, don’t loose hope, kasi marami pa rin naman akong naririnig na nagi-sponsor, medyo humina lang ngayon because of [email protected] ABBY, thanks for starting out this blog. And goodluck on your exam. Know the MOA of common drugs, double check the profile and the pharmacist notes. And syempre, practice Math, hehehehe. @ Corerev, thank you for your response. I will send you an email.Goodluck to us all who are still working out their license to be a pharmacist in the US. God Bless.

  39. Please pm me naman at [email protected] FPGEC certificate na din ako at canadian citizen na kaya lang hirap pa rin humanap ng internship.please pm me and give me your number guys… baka pwede ako magapply sa pinagiinternan nyo. I just need a letter of employment no sponsorship kasi TN1 visa na lang kailangan ko…thanks…please pm me asa;p…

  40. please pm me at [email protected] grad din ako pero canadian citizen…naghahanap din ako ng mapagiinternan…kaya please help naman…pm nyo ako para makapagtsika tsika…wala talaga ako makita…baka meron kayo alam at pwedeng magapply dyan sa inaplyan nyo…

  41. Hi collegue, thank you so much for your words of encouragement.It inspires me more to take my FPGEE on April 2011.I already applied for my FPGEE last 2008 however i was indecisive pursuing it due to the recession last 2008.I went back to the philippines and practice as a Physician.But I came back last 2009 and decisively pursue my dream of taking FPGEE.Actually I am a Physician and Pharmacist back in our country.However to start my life here, I want to practice initially as a pharmacist prior taking my USMLE later if given a chance.I have some classmates (BS pharmacy) who has been practicing as a pharmacist now.However i feel so inferior in terms of knowledge in pharmacy practice.Im not sure if we as Filipinos are capable enough passing the FPGEE.Im asking from our Filipino collegues on the tips of passing the FPGEE.For me, Im not so confident to take the exam since i only practiced as a pharmacist for 3 yrs and after which i proceed to medicine.Some of my friends suggested some review books like “Comprehensive Pharmacy review by Leon Shargel”.And I bought Pharmacolgy book by Katzung to supplement my knowledge in Pharmacology.At this point of time, I dont have directions on what to concentrate on since I dont have the idea on the approach of the examination.I hope,there will be some of our Filipino collegues who will have the kind heart to guide me on what to study.Im looking for a female study partner too…you can call me on my cp number 267-439-8932.Im waiting for somebody who’ll acknowledge this letter.God bless us all…and More power to all our collegues out there!Jemimah

    • Hi Jemimahh, we are very much alike. Physician/pharmacist din ako sa PHI but unlike you I did not even get a chance to practice as a pharmacist. It was really though to take FPGEE kasi you have to know the basics again, from computations to structures and chemistry. Just give it time and the books that you mentioned are sufficient enough. I hope you read my review regarding the books that I used so in a way it can guide you. It is my plan to take USMLE too later but if it will be fulfilling enough and less stress being a pharmacist with more time for my family then I will be content with it. Good luck to you.

  42. @ corerev, wala p ko intern license so fpgee pa lang napasa [email protected] fiona, again, agree with maria, don’t let it pull you down, once you become licensed level playing field [email protected] same situation as I am: oktubre na, there should be feelers from the big 6 (cvs, walgreens’s, etc) kung may budget for interns next year. eyes always open, the US is so huge. to my awareness, 1 pinoy lang kilala ko nasponsor this year, waltermart na, sa mid-west pa. only God knows what’s for each of us if we keep asking and we all know He knows best!

  43. Congratulations !!! Abby. You’ve finally made it. Just one more CPJE then you’ll be a licenced pharmacist. TAKE GOOD CARE BECAUSE GOD CARES.

    • Congrats, I know that one is a tricky endeavor but at least one obstacle down. I hope you will be dropping by soon to share the good news and your experience about TOEFL and FPGEE. I wish you the best. Keep us posted 🙂

  44. hi abby, many thanks! you made this blog..it helps a lot sa mga kagaya ko n confused din and maraming tanong when it comes to fpgee…i supposed to take my fpgee last 2007 but it was postponed i got t my official transcript and proof of degree but not yet submitted to ECE neither i did not apply yet…now i decided to take it this coming september 2011….but as i read the blogs of some our collegues that almost of the chain drugstores there are not accepting foreign grads instead they are giving priority to their own parang nagdadalawang isip ako kasi di ba mahirap pag may family n esp.when it terms to money talk..of course abby when i take the fpgee and toefl(and hopefully passed it) then eventually i will take my internship kaya lang kung ganon nga po n hindi n nag aaccept ng foreign grad parang masasayang lang po di ba?one more question po abby ung toefl po ba do i need to take it there in the US or puede naman dito sa phil.?alin po ang unang dapat itake ung fpgee or toefl?maraming salamat po abby…GODBLESS YOU ALWAYS!

    • Thanks for visiting our site. I know right now even for us immigrants the incentives has changed, it used to be better couple of years ago. I am hoping more opportunities/better salary will come after the Obama health care bill will take in effect by 2014 meaning everybody will have insurance. By this more health care professionals will be needed to meet the demands of the public. The decision is up to you it is hard to predict what will really happen once this bill take in effect but I think it is a risk for you to take which may benefit you later on. Ganun siguro talaga medyo mahal yung mga fees pero kailangan talaga sumugal kasi if ever na kailangan talaga later on ng maraming pharmacist and if you have the license na then you can take advantage of this opportunity. However, base din sa survey dumami na rin sa mga citizen dito studying pharma so that will be another competition.With regards to TOEFL, you can take it from there. Correct me if I am wrong but if TOEFL doesn’t have expiration then you can pick either of the two. Kasi before 2 yrs lang TOEFL validity once you passed kaya I advise to take the FPGEE first kasi syang kung within 2 yrs di pa nakakapasa ng FPGEE and you have to retake TOEFL again.God bless and best of luck to you.

  45. Mayron po sana akong tanong sa inyo mga pharmacist. Incoming freshman po ako sa pharmacy at may tanong po ako sa inyo:1. Bago po makakuha ng FPGEE ay kailangan munang graduate ng isang “specific school” like UST, CEU etc.? I heard na magbubukas daw ang lasalle sa Dasmarinas ng pharmacy school pero I am not sure kung pwede akong magtake ng exam kung sa lasalle ako papasok.2. Natanggap din po ako sa isang university sa maynila pero 4 yrs lang ang pharmacy nila, alam ko po kasi na kailangang 5 yrs ang requirement nila. Kung dito ako papasok, paano po ang approach na gagawin ko para makakuha ng FPGEE?Salamat po ng marami sa guidance nyo at sanay makapasa kayo lahat sa mga examinations ninyo.

    • Hi, if you will read the previous post you will be informed that since 2003 the 5 yr curriculum is needed. There are some universities which I am not familiar with that offer a 5 yr program however this is not a guarantee that you will be able to seat i for the test. I know this because I had a companion who graduated after 2003 and finished a 5 yr program but was denied for the test and was advised to take some units in a university here for $18,000 back in 2007.

  46. Hi abby,just want to ask how many weeks before NABP release the FPGEC?yun na lang kasi kulang ko to register for NAPLEX sa NY…I guess I have the worst condition because Im on B-2 visa at nobody seems to give sponsorship nowadays…Thanks…

  47. Dear Abby and everyone. I am a US citizen considering going to pharmacy school in the philippines this june 2011. the school i am looking at is CEU 5 year bachelors, but one of my biggest concerns is being able to come back to the states and practice pharmacy. i’ve been searching the internet for blogs for any success stories to keep my hopes up. ive even tried to meet current filipino pharmacists working here that are alumni from the philippines but unfortunately i have only heard negative things. its a blessing that i have found this site because you all have such positive attitudes. i am wondering how long from the time you graduate to the time you take each test (fpgee, naplex, cpje) does it take. is it a matter of years or a matter of months? has anyone personally graduated from philippines and is now a pharmacist in the states (particularly CA or NV), or knows of anyone who is. i’m trying to find as much information as possible which would help me decide my future before june. thank you all so much.

    • Hi Christine, the only question I think I can answer applicable to me is the time table to study to become licensed. For FPGEE it took me 4 months to study M-F 8-10 hours/day. I was more intimated with the FPGEE than NAPLEX since most says the former is harder, and it is. For TOEFL I think with extensive practice 2 months is enough. Although NAPLEX is easier than FPGEE it took me 10 months for this, well this time I have a baby to consider and because of the notion that it will be easier then I was more laid back studying…..but don’t do that 3-4 months 10 hours 5 days a week is enough for NAPLEX. CPJE should be taken a month after the NAPLEX so everything else is fresh. I hope someone who graduated after 2003 who made it as a Pharma here in USA will come across our site and share their story. Best of luck to you.

  48. I would like to get license in Philappines to practise pharmacy. I am a US pharmacist. Is this something that can happen in your country. Presently hospital pharmacist, but also background in retail (chains, private, and profession) and consulting (reviewing medical charts) Would be most interested in ownig pharmacy (maybe not possible in your country) or teaching.Thanks,Really a great group of people who wrote comments on this site. Good luck to you all.

    • Thanks for visiting our site, this is a rare and unique situation after all. First time somebody from here wanting to move back to PHI to practice. If you are a graduate from there then you would know whats the practice of Pharma is like, I would say totally different from here because of the health care system. Well if not, I hope somebody will enlighten you in terms of experience at work since my exposure in PHI is entirely as a Physician. I am not 100% sure but I think there is no reciprocation for Pharma nor they allow foreign grads or citizen to seat in for PHI Board Exam. I would think that your best chance is to be an educator or perhaps have your own Review center for those wanting to go here in USA to take the FPGEE and NAPLEX.

  49. Hi, I don’t mean to butt in….It’s just that I’m also a pharmacy grad here in Pinas and I’m also dying to take the FPGEE but I have no idea where to start…I graduated from a 5-year curriculum in Cebu and I’m pretty sure I can qualify for the test since I already have two classmates on their post-FPGEE internships in the States. Other than that morsel, I’m lost…What do I have to study for? How long should I expect to wait til my application is gets approved? Should I secure my visa first or the FPGEE application? My goal is to leave the country by early 2012…Is that possible? Any answer would be greatly appreciated… Thanks!

    • The best way to start your journey is read through the official website http://www.nabp.net. This will guide you on what you need to know for the whole process. Now for the visa there is no assurance some say they are given a month just to take the test others say you shouldn’t mention it to the consul. So there is really no guarantee if you will be granted visa or not for the purpose of taking the test. I am not sure how long it will take for your documents to be processed since it has to be sent there but here it usually takes 2-3 weeks. As for what you have to study I have shared and reviewed the materials I used for the test which can be found here in this website. Good luck.

    • Hello Abby, i am scheduled to sit for fpgee this coming november 9, may i know what is the hardest part of the exams? thank u in advance for your reply

  50. Ang hirap makakita talaga po ng intership. Nag pre-pre-pharm po ako dito sa California. Nung napasa ko po ang board exam na PTCB para sa pharm techs para maging CPhT ay akala ko na madaling makakuha na ng tatanggap sa akin. Ang problema kasi ay ang RATIO ng pharmacist to technician na 1:1 sa California (and 1:2 kung may 2nd pharmcist). Hindi ako makapag practice as a pharm tech para lang to get a feel of how the field is and get a background on filling/dispensing drugs. Nagsulat na ako ng letters ng request (na super professional kamo) sa CVS, Walgreens, Costco, pati Walmart (may kaibigan pa kamo ko dun pero sabi eh tatawagan na lang ako pero wala silang intership ngayon for pharmacists and pharm techs). alam nyo po itong USA recession (or depression) ay sobrang bad timing sa ating mga careers. Sobrang laki ng hirap natin tapos ang nakakalungkot eh pano kung hindi tayo makapagpractice. nag apply din ako ngayon sa Kaiser, Sutter, Mercy, pati VA, pero ewan ko talagang malas lang talaga. Ang habol ko lang naman eh intership (o externship). Kaasar talaga. Nag iisip nga po ako kung paano yong ibang pinoy nakapasok as Pharm Tech sa Kaiser eh wala naman silang experience pa… ang iniisip ko either gumawa lang sila ng mga kunyari-yarian na experience sa pilipinas sa Watsons drug o ibang botika kaya sila natanggap (alam mo naman ang mga pinoy gagawa ng paraan para lang makapasok). Hindi ko kasi kayang magawa yon dahil baka sa interview eh pagtatanungin ako eh mangulelat ako… kahit na nga ba nag top ako sa college namin sa pharm tech program at naka 98% ako na grade nung natapos ko ang program ko eh sigurado may karma lang ang pagkukunyari… ewan ko ang hirap talaga. email nyo lang po ako please kung saan puede mag intern/extern bilang pharm tech po. Hirap na hirap na po ako. nwawalan na ako ng pag-asa.

    • Keep your hopes up, we are on the same position I am looking for a job and has been waiting for a couple of weeks now. I received one call and they want experience in hospital which I don’t have. If you are willing din try to volunteer sa hospital or independent pharmacy but wala nga lang salary. Thats what I did for my internship kasi ang hirap mag hintay and my end goal din naman is to complete the required hours and not waste more time since I would benefit more in being a pharma once I get my hours done. I know my friends are telling me compared to couple of yrs back meron sila mga sign in bonus as interns pa lang, ngayon halos wala na gumagawa nun unless they are sending you sa remote areas. Well if you are willing to relocate I know there is more jobs in the Central CA, this is the website I found where I submit my resume indeed.com. Lets both keep praying and hoping, there are 3 listing nga for pharma position in Kaiser in our area and up to now I am wondering why I haven’t heard from them. Well God knows best kung san tayo mabuting makapag work. Sana our long wait will be over soon. Good luck 🙂

  51. wala po ba tayong Philippines Pharmacist Association kung saan tayo makakahingi ng tulong o training man lang? Dapat magkaroon na tayo ng ganito dahil lahat ng ibang lahi meron nito tayo lang ata walang samahan pa.

      • Hayyy.. oo nga…. we need to connect with our fellow pharmacist/interns/students, US is so different. for sure marami pa din ang nahihirapan… I wish too I can help 🙂

        • I know iba talaga practice dito ng pharma, the least we can do is help each other out, kahit papano para moral support and each others input is important. Hope we will all be able to help each other, pareparehas lang naman tayo ng goal.Hopefully you will keep in touch with all those seeking our help through our website. Thanks

        • Hi Abby, hello Ning, and hello to all visiting this blog.I came to your blog by chance. To be honest it was the color of the picture that caught my attention and its overall appearance … friendly, neat, organized and sunny!The name of the blog was even catchier!I am also a Phil Pharmacy graduate. I have now a valid certificate. Many of my batch mates applied for their internship license immediately after receiving their certificates only to face a huge obstacle caused by the recession.Aware of the economic situation and the validity of the internship license, I decided to seek out an intern job first and apply for my lic. later. Unfortunately, no companies will pay for an intern now, just like you guys said. As a result I ended up being a Pharm Tech. Need to pay the bills, you know.This not-so-good predicament worked in my favor immediately after coz both of my parents got very ill. I had to help my sister provide care of them.Very saddened by the demise of my father, it is now time to move on. After 2 yrs of not reading/studying, had no previous pharmacy work in the Phil, except just for the internship, I am now preparing myself for yet another challenge.I am sending my license application next week. Just started reading again. Will volunteer as an intern. Tough situation but i need to do this.Everybody says the same thing about NAPLEX being easier than FPGEE. I guess I will find out my truth after I have taken the NAPLEX test.To answer your query about Filipino Pharmacist association in the U.S.?I am somewhat part of this organization. Not officially, coz I am not aware if there is membership registration and dues. I never asked. I am in the same group of people who help one another in their FPGEE and NAPLEX review. Most of its members are long time Pharmacists in California. Some of their activities are funding pharmacy tuition to some deserving individuals in the Phil., Bantay Bata, sending old books and toys to orphanages there, etc.I know the president. If you are interested, I could get you in touch with her. Ok., have a blessed day to you all.

          • BTW, one of the members is a retired Fil-Am Pharmacist, who resides in Nevada. She had her practice there for a very long time.

          • It would be nice if he/she can help out our fellow kabayans who are starting their career here in USA. Or at least shed some light on the other options for pharmacist here in USA. 🙂

          • Your response is very informative indeed. Please do send contact info as it would be nice to help in our own ways of giving back. I got 2 offers now,as a pharmacist after doing volunteer internship as well, but the problem is the offers are being a floater . Better than nothing I guess but right now I am awaiting my current employer plans of expanding….crossing my fingers and if everything goes well, I will be working for them where I am more familiar of how things are….Best of luck to you.

  52. I am a pharmacist in Ohio (US Pharmacy graduate.) I just want to comment that pharmacist-hopefuls do not belittle pharmacist/intern jobs in the Midwest or any other state for that matter other than California in the USA. In my practice as a pharmacist, average salaries for US pharmacists are over one hundred thousand dollars a year. If you get offered a job in the midwest for a hundred thousand dollars or more a year wouldn’t you take it even if it is in the midwest?

    • IMHO, it is not a matter of belittling jobs in other state but it can be for some other reason not just the salary. As for me, if I can find job in CA even if it is less than what is being paid in other state I would be satisfied since I like the weather here. Another thing is that my husbands family is all from CA too and it is nice that we get help taking care of our little one. But I have to agree with you though, that anywhere in USA the demand for health care field is still on the rise and will continue to do so, hence for those without any other considerations specially those needing sponsorship it really wouldn’t matter as long as they set foot in the US soil. :)Thanks for your comment.

  53. Hi Abby and everyone…. Omg… an dami palang mga Filipino with the same fate as I am… thank you abby and for everyone for the blogs akala ko ako lang nag iisa at na super stress na… I am from UST also finished my 1500 hours internship then ma hospital pa, then NAPLEX and CJ na… Thanks for the info regarding NAPLEX. @Maria..keep it up malapit na, don’t give up. And for those looking for internship and sponsorship keep looking and asking around. Kaiser I think is accepting interns ask around and do online applications and walk ins sa mga retail and chains. Please pray for me, I submitted my application with NABP for my Naplex just waiting to finish my hospital then I will by taking my NAPLEX by May… haaaayyyyy…. nakakamatay!!!! Pray for me mga kababayan ko… Oh by the way I took my toefel in the philippines then when I passed my FPGEE, they send my certificate within 2 weeks or so… So you can take your toefel in the philippines then fpgee here para mabilis makuha yung certificate so that you can apply for an intern lic.Hope this helps… God bless everyone and more power to us all…Dream on and never give up!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. Right now I am job hunting too, I have been submitting my resume online for more than a month and so far only 3 replies and I have no idea of the status since they haven’t gotten back to me again. My husband was telling me, there is a process may system on how you get hired it will take time hindi naman daw fast food chain inaaplayan ko. So I am keeping my hopes up, God will provide and He knows in His time when it is best and which one will be the right one for us. SO keep hanging in there everyone. Good luck on your NAPLEX. Hopefully my tips will be valuable to you. Let me know if you need some advice or anything like that. God bless.

      • Thanks Abby, I will keep you posted and others as well and I will leave some advices also re my NAPLEX, hope it will help our fellow pharmacist and thanks pag malapit na for sure hihingi ako ng tip and advices 🙂 And yes, everything is in God’s time. All the best Abby, keep us posted if my work kana…we are happy for you.And for those seeking internship in the US, CHECK first the state you want to have your internship or where you want to be licensed, different state have different set of rules and guidelines regarding pharmacist intern license some have 1200 hrs and others have 1500 hrs in order for you to qualify and take the board examinations. TIP: Just be deligent . God bless everyone! 🙂

  54. HI DOES ANYONE MADE WITH A 4 YRS DEGREE FROM CEBU IN 1999. I NAPLEX IS GIVING ME HARD TIME JUST TO TAKE THE FPGEE. I GIVE THEM ALL MY APPLICATION AND THE FEE. STILL WITH NO LUCK. IS THERE ANYONE THAT WENT HOME TO FINISH A YR OR TWO PROGRAM IN MANILA. IF SO CAN YOU LET ME KNOW

  55. CON GRAD WHAT YR DID U FINISH SCHOOL. DID U FINISH YOUR A 5 YR PROGRAM. WHAT SCHOOL DID U GO TOO. JUST WHATING I HAVE COUPLE OF INDIA WHOSE ARE TECH. BUT SINCE PAST COUPLE OF MONTH THEY ARE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL IN INDIA SO THAT HAVE A 5 YR, INSTEAD OF 4 YR. IS NAPLEX ALLOW THIS????? WOULD NAPLEX LET US TAKE THE FPGEE TEST. DID ANYONE HEAR OF IT

  56. Hi Ray, you should check with the NABP I graduated with a 4 year curriculum, had my credentials evaluated and submitted it to the NABP and yes, I qualified to take the test (FPGEE), try to follow the procedures and the requirements. Correct me if I am wrong, what I know is that 2003 graduate and below with a 4-yr curriculum are qualified to take the FPGEE, but I had a friend older than me was informed that she has to take more subjects in order for her to sit for the FPGEE, so the best is to have your college transcripts be evaluated. You have to pass first your FGEE have your FPGEC then internship or whatever is the requirements of the state you want to sit for the board an approval from that state then NAPLEX will allow you to take the exam for the stateboard.

    • yes that’s right,graduates from 2003 below can take the fpgee with 4 yr pharmacy degree…2004 above….sorry guys take the 5 yr pharmacy degree to qualify for fpgee

  57. Abby: Hello!..Is TOEFL or IELTS needed o requirement ba talaga na kumuha kahit immigrant ka dito sa US? dahil sa ibang course like nursing, medtech & etc. wala na silang english test. yang sa mga immigrants. kaya nga I am confuse sa atin may english test kahit immigrant. kung may english tayo, after na ba yan sa fpgee or before? thank you so much. God bless.

    • Hi grace, it is a requirement for foreign graduates to take fpgee even if you are an immigrant just like myself. There are certain groups pushing to lessen the speaking score requirements but nothing has changed yet. It is quite challenging but just practice a lot.It doesn’t matter if you take it before or after from what I know couple of years ago there is no more expiration of TOEFL once you pass it, cause before there is a 2 yr expiration after passing. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  58. Abby,Did you volunteer your internship or did you get paid for it? Where did you do it? I am just about starting my internship too? How is job-hunting going for you? Please shed some light about your situation. Did you need a sponsorship visa? Thank you

    • I did volunteer for internship since the other offers I got from the big chains require me to move to central CA which I was not considering at that time since I have a year old son. I did it in a private independent pharmacy in Upland. I am still job hunting its been 2 months already and people are telling me with our economic situation the waiting time sometimes take a bit more longer compared before. Well I know there are still a lot of opportunities specially in the central area. No I do need any spnsorship since I am an immigrant. Thanks for visiting our site.

      • Hi Abby, some Pharmacists including local grads are opting for REGISTRY. I heard they are getting much lesser pay than the individuals directly hired by their employers. REGISTRY RXists do not get benefits + they have to pay commission to the registry owner. Many local grads & foreign grads from my workplace took this route just to get some kind of income, and while waiting for better opportunities. just an insight.

  59. Hi, Abby! I’m a UST pharmacy graduate, licensed here in the phils. i tried appling for the fpgee way back 2005-2006.di lang ako makakuha ng us visa sa embassy.ngayon tuloy, 6 yrs naset aside ang dream ko to work and bring my family there.qualified naman ako to take the exam accdg to nabp but the us embassy here denied my visa application 3times. any advise for me on how will i make it there sa US? may immigrant na kasi yata kayo diyan? good for you..i will include you in my prayers. tama bang we seek the advice of visa experts who have a certain fee.medyo mahal kasi..hope to hear from you..Godbless and goodluck!

    • I just made a post regarding this a week ago…click hereIf you really are decided to move here then I guess it is worth it to hire visa experts kasi ganun din you will waste more money kung you would keep trying and then in the end still be denied of visa. Maybe that is something to try but you have to remember still it does not guarantee anything pero at least you try all your options. Thanks, hope you get your visa soon. God bless

  60. Hi Abby, hope your doing well… regarding your NAPLEX exam and CJPE what kind of reviewers you used and did you enrolled in those 5 days intensive review? And regarding the NAPLEX exam are they all clinical questions? can you give me some birds eye view? And for the CJPE what I am doing is just reading the entire California Pharmacy Law Book, will this be enough for the CJPE? Hope you can enlighten me. Thanks much and God bless

  61. Hi Abby! I graduated with doctor of medicine in the Philippines. After 3 yrs of residency training, I decided to moved out and lived with my husband in NV. I would like to ask if it is a wise idea to study pharmacy in the Philippines? I find it hard to move on and get a better job since I don’t consider to take USMLE.What are some lists of Schools of Pharmacy in the Philippines that you can recommend? I dont know how long does it take for me to study? I also consider taking nursing in the BSN in Pnas but sch of nursing change the curriculum to 5 yrs. Other sch require me to take 3 1/2 yrs. I think it’s just all because of business since it is recession, no issuance of visa too. How can they feed their families? Before they only require MDs for 1 yr and then able to take NCLEX. I had a very bad experienced to share. I enrolled in Kennedy Global sch of Practical Nursing last 2009 ( online w/ 1 mo clinical in pnas) because I was so desperate at least to have a better job then afterwards I felt so devastated when I learned that NV Board of Nursing told me that they cant accept my diploma of Practical Nursing because it is nonexisting in the Philippines. The founder of the sch Mrs Kennedy told me before i enrolled that there’s no problem even for reciprocity of lic in NV. I wasn’t wise when I made the decision. I thought it was alright since they have physical sch in Pnas. I failed to ask the NV Board of nursing. I spent $5500 tuition. I was sad that we can’t trust our kababayan. I was so cautious and careful and yet I was betrayed and all was fraud. I can’t understand but what can I do. I wasnt able to do what i should have done before. I am trapped and I hope that I can still find the right path. Please help me. Thanks!!

    • I am sorry to here what you went through, even here meron din mga school of nursing claiming they are accredited and later when its time to take the test they would find out na di pala recognize ung school. I know some pnoy who went through the same thing. IMHO, if Pharmacy is not your pre med course this is not the way to go since the curriculum is 5 yrs too and this has been the requirement for 2003 onwards graduate but still there is no guarantee that you will be able to seat in for test. From what I know they have not accepted our 5 yr curriculum, although it is really not consistent. Meron nakakalusot meron hindi, pero yung kilala ko she went to 5 yrs school in PHI then ended up having to take another yr of completion subjects here in USA as required by the evaluators which cost her $18k ( not sure if this is per sem). Perhaps the best step to take is your pre med since your are decided to set medicine aside. If you are not considering your preparatory course as well then the next best option is nursing specially if you are an immigrant or authorized to work here in USA. Sabi nga this is the land of opportunity madami options but we have to focus to one and know the ins and out kasi iba din yung mga requirement and practice of profession. Kung gusto mo talaga ng pharmacy din and you are here na in NV then you can study here but you have to start from scratch, 2 pharmacist na nakasama ko sa work 1 Thai and the other Korean despite finishing school in their country they repeated everything again instead of just taking the equivalency and the rest of the test for foreign grads. In the end it really depends on what you think and feel that you will be happy doing. Good luck and keep us posted. Thanks for sharing your experience which may be of help to some of our kababayans. God bless.

  62. Hi Abby! I’m Hennie and I am currently in the US military but my contract is up next year and i am really considering becoming a pharmacist. Me and the hubby decided to go back to study in the Philippines and saw that CEU has this 6-year pharmacy course and I am really interested in taking that. Now, my question is, i read somewhere that in the Philippines, after you take the BS-Pharmacy and finish, before you get to do the 2-yr PharmD you are required to take the licensure in the Philippines. PRC requires that in order to take the licensure exam you have to be a Natural-born Filipino, my case is I was born in the Philippines and got Naturalized US Citizen. Can i still take it if I show evidence that I was indeed born in the Philippines? Also what are the steps you took in order to become a licensed Pharmacist here in the US? Any info would be really appreciated! 🙂

    • Hello, I think it is a requirement to take the licensure before you can apply for the test here, its good that you were born there cause I read somewhere where this guy shared his story that being born here and finish pharm school in PHI he was unable to take the test. You can be dual citizen if it really ask you to be but being born there I think you still will be eligible. Now the CEU program I am not sure if the Boards here recognize it. As I have mention in some of my post it is not a guarantee cause I know some people who took the 5yr course in Cebu ended up taking up additional units here in USA. But nonetheless it is way cheaper than studying here. If I am not mistaken my preceptor told me roughly it is $150,000 now to complete a PharmD course here in USA. So that it is insanely cheaper and better if you will just need completion subjects once you get back here. Steps to become a Pharmcist:Take TOEFL- requirement for foreign grads, FPGEE- equivalency exam but prior to this ECE will evaluate your credentials to be able to be qualified, then do the internship depending on which state you will reside the hours are different in some state you can take the NAPLEX before you complete or start internship, one of this is NV, then take the NAPLEX which is the state boards and finally CPJE/MPJE…..thats it :)Do some more research don’t ask the school cause they will tell you a different story perhaps go to some more forum or you can read more in the experience of our kabayans and maybe send an email to one of them. I know there is a bond or fee for US student like my classmates so you have to be sure that you will not have problems with the curriculum. Best of luck to you

  63. HEY GUYSS!!NEED YOUR HELPINCOMING THIRD YEAR AKO SA CEU MENDIOLA..PERMANENT RESIDENT AKO DTO SA USAHND KO ALAM KUNG UUWI AKO SA PINAS PRA MGTAPOS O MAGARAL NLNG DTO SA USA..HELP|!!!

    • Hi Jem make an inquiry and have your transcript evaluated in schools of pharma that way you will know how much your tuition will be if this is acceptable then just finish it here, just my opiniion. But if you think it is too much and they wouldn’t even credit any of your sunbects then that is something to think about. There are many factors to consider still, if you plan to finish in PHI you should not get your US citizenship up until you finish the BOARDs in PHI to be eligible. Another thing is you have to know that the process if you finish overseas will be longer since you have to go through ece, fpgee, toefl….. The last and probably the most important thing to consider is that if you are a graduate here in US you will be more prioritized for internship and job opportunities. Well I guess that is reasonable enough since they do pay a lot in Pharm school. In the end it is all up to you but this are just some things that you might want to think about. Good luck.

  64. hi abby! it’s been a while since i sent my comments here. are you still looking for a job? why don’t you try applying in a health plan like blue shield of california, healthnet, etc. they are all located here in the bay area. anyway, i am still in the process of searching for internship work but its really been so hard in this market. i found an independent pharmacy where i can volunteer but only on a saturday. i work full time in a health plan in sf. i can’t give it up due to financial reasons, family, home, bills, etc…. i was wondering if you ever encountered someone who was able to extend their intern license. i got my intern license on march 2010 and is only good for 2 years. with intern hours of saturdays only, i won’t finish by march 2012. per the pharmacy law book, it can be extended upon the discretion of the board of pharmacy if you are able to demonstrate your inability to exercise this privilege of the intern license during the initial license period. do you think this is a possibility? appreciate your input and let me know if you are interested to work in manage care as a pharmacist. i will keep an eye of openings in the pharmacy department. thanks and God bless.

    • Thanks for keeping us posted. Yes I am still looking for a job. How were you able to get a job in an insurance company. At this time I just keep applying, where do you suggest I submit my resume or better yet what did you do to get a position there. Maybe if you know if they have an opening, some people say it is easier if you know somebody from the inside. I know they don’t usually extend the license but it is purely up to the boards. I think I remember somebody who was able to extend it twice because of family matters, it is worth a shot to give it a try so you know where you stand. Thanks for your offer and I do need it, let me know the process and maybe I can apply to other companies too. Best of luck.

      • thanks for your response. i will probably need to request the extension soon. yes, i have been lucky to be with this company for almost 14 years. i came from walgreens when i applied and i started as a customer service rep for the pharmacy dept talking to patients about their medications, whether or not it is covered or not and why it was denied. because of my background and my goal to be a pharmacist, im one of the team leads working closely with drug utlization review clinical pharmacists and the medical director. i have daily clinical rounds with them as well. its like in the hospital but instead of seeing patients face to face, i review cases from chart notes, lab reports, consult notes from specialists, etc. then we review cases clinically based on medical necessity to determine coverage of the drug. its really very interesting and looking forward to comeback here when i get my pharm license. i also came from a teaching hospital at ucsf inpatient pharmacy. at this time, there is no opening for a pharmacist. we even have a pharmacy resident who is interested in getting employed. she’s been here almost a year and she graduated from uscf and is a pharmd. i know its been tough to get jobs even for pharmacist. i wish you luck as well and will keep you posted. congratulations for getting your pharm license. great work on this blog. -ljam

  65. Hi abby, I just passed my FPGEC requirements and im just wondering if you know any companies that are willing to sponsor for my visa. Im willing to work in any part of the US.

  66. UST is also offering a 5-year Clinical Pharmacy program. But there is just one section (50 students) allotted for that program. To be able to enter into that program, one should take qualifying exams during the senior year of BS Pharmacy and also an interview will be needed except for those who are included Top 20 in the exam. They have a clerkship during the second semester of 5th year (either St. Luke’s or UST hospital).

  67. Hi Abby! thanks for this blog…i’ve been trying to look for Filipino pharmacist here in the US.When did you take your NAPLEX? how hard was it? I am on my third take and I am getting frustrated. Do you know of any foreign grad here in NJ/NY area reviewing for NAPLEX or licensed already? thanks!

    • I took it October last year, you can read my blog about the NAPLEX test through this website. I also mentioned the books that I used. Sorry don’t know anybody reviewing at the moment.

      • hello, from all the experiences i had in all the pharmacy settings, i think the best starting experience would be as an inpatient pharmacist in a hospital setting. you will learn a lot from dispensing unit dose prescriptions to checking off iv, chemo, tpn, compounding, pharmacy calculations, etc. although, i am not a pharmacist yet and still working on my intern hours as a volunteer in an independent pharmacy. i’ve worked closely with clinical pharmacist more than 10 years and so far, hospital pharmacy is a good foundation as a pharmacist. hope this helps.

        • I was a hospital pharmacist back home.but I migrated here in New Jersey and from then on started a business.actually,the business is 11 yrs already but I’m considering now to practice our profession.My other classmates are now licensed pharmacist in North Carolina.They are employed at RiteAid pharmacy.So I was inspired by them and hopefully I can pass the FPGEE.All I need now is to submit my application to NABP and of course take time to review.just don’t lose hope and keep trying.I wish everyone all the best and keep the faith.

  68. Hi I am an American citizen who traveled to the Philippines to study pharmacy. I just graduated from a 5yr clinical pharmacy program. I am preparing to study for the FPGEE now. Can anyone share their experience with the exam as well as what review materials they used? Thanks!

    • Hi I did a review on the books I used for the FPGEE and NAPLEX, in that thread which is in this website too someone shared their most recent experience with the test. You may have to read the comments section on that thread so you have to be patient :0Good luck to u!

    • Hi! I also graduated from a 5 yr clinical pharmacy program & I’ve already taken the FP last year. I can give you some tips if you want. Which school did you graduate from? UIC or USC?

  69. wow, nakakainspire talaga etong blog mo miss abby.Im FPGEE passer, sept 2010. sana soon makapag-intern na din ako, then NAPLEX boards na. kaya lng ang hirap ng toefl, nkaka-2 takes na ko, hirap pumasok sa 26 score sa speaking.. then another problem is visa, 1 year na lng valid ang tourist visa ko!! i need to pass toefl next year no matter what!! kaya lng kung pumasa naman ako, kelangan ko pa humanap ng way para maging resident sa US. ang hirap!! please pray for us inspiring US pharmacists!btw, im USTgrad 2007, then i took 1 year clin pharm sa UIC davao,2010. madami na kameng mga grads dun na nkapag take ng FP. un lng, d ko din sure kung accepted un sa Pharm D sa CEU.

    • Thanks for sharing, things are tough now I mean the economic situation here in USA but there are still jobs out there not as easy to get one as before. Still waiting to find mine too but keep your hopes up and look forward to the best things that God planned for us :))

  70. I’ve already taken the FP & the TOEFL iBT and passed. I actually already have my certificate. Nandun nga sya sa drawer ko, bored na. I’m interested for an internship in California (yeah, right. goodluck with that!) because all of my relatives are based there. I’ve been hearing different stuff from several people I know. When applying, which should come first? 1. apply for an internship licenseor2. apply to a company for the position?And has anyone heard of InterFysio?

    • Most company would require you to have the license before hiring you. I know most of the company that did sponsorship before are not doing it anymore since they are expecting a surge of pharmacist grads from USA in the coming years. Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS are some of these company that used to do it. When I had a job interview there are many benefits which was not there anymore compared to couple of years ago like sign on bonus, relocation allowance, driving time payment…so I know they are cutting on the budget since there is more pharmacist and they do not need to offer those incentives to fill in the positions. But as I say there are still some areas where some pharmacist would not go to who may be in need of our services so it is stilll good to try and keep applying. Check out indeed.com or simplhired.com, I see listing for grad pharma listed on these sites.

  71. I also forgot to mention that I only have a tourist visa. Which means if I do apply for the internship license first, I’ll be having problems with the social security # which is one of the requirements.

    • Hi, a tip for clarissa you have the same problem as i have before I did not have an SS#, so I seek an advice from a Pharmacist working in the US, she said submit all your documents to the board and apply for an intern lic. What harm will it do to you? So I did, then they replied saying they will hold my lic card until I have my SS# for a year then after a year without the number they will closed it and considered it abandoned. So it will be a big risk for you, submit and look for a company to sponsor you as an intern pharmacist within 1 year. You have to weigh in all the pros and cons. Hope for the best. Good luck.

  72. Hello!Nice conversations, very helpful. I received my FPGEC certificate last year and I am currently looking for a working visa sponsorship but still no luck. I am on the verge of giving up pero naisip ko sobrang sayang naman. Can you advise on how to find an employer? I prefer Boston, MA. Nalulungkot na din kasi ko when I receive e-mails from the chain drugstores saying that they are not accepting interns since last year. Don’t know what to do.. How many hours pala ang internship? After nun, NAPLEX na? Tama ba? I’m clueless what’s next after FPGEC.Thank you so much.

    • Thats correct after FPGEC, you need to complete 1500 hours of internship. This needs to be completed in 2 yrs time frame although I know in certain cases this can be extended. After completing your hours then you take NAPLEX and the law either CPJE or MPJE depending on the state you want to practice. BEst of luck.

  73. Thank you Abby, very helpful inputs.I have a question. Can i have my intern hours counted while working as a pharmacy technician. I received my FPGEC a little over a year ago. I couldn’t work then because of my visa status. Now that i have everything set, it is so hard to find an intern position as a foreign graduate. I did get one offer as a pharmacy technician but i am not sure if i can get my hours counted while working as a pharmacy technician. Please let me know if you know about it. Thanks

    • I know you can’t since the work of tech are somewhat different from interns but it really is up to your supervisor since he/she will be one signing your hours that need to be submitted to the CABOP. But in my case I was getting a techs salary but performing interns work so my delegation is still an intern thats why it is up to your supervisor if your work is considered as a training for the internship. Best of luck

  74. Hi Abby,Just wondered after you passed the FPGEE how did you find an internship.I have passed my FPGEE and am searching for an internship anywhere in the USA. However I need sponsorship from the UK to work in USA on a visa. I know the big chains used to sponsor people. I have emailed them a lot but get ZERO response. Do you have any ideas what foreigners are doing to make a start in the USA and securing an internship.Any details/advice would be massively appreciated. Thanks and congratulations on your journey.

    • Sorry I myself had a hard time looking for internship which made me do volunteer work just to complete the required hours. I don’t even need sponsorship and is wasn’t easy. The only ones I know that sponsors are the big chain. They mayy still be in need for some remote areas so I guess just like what I am doing right now, keep trying and let’s hope for the best.

  75. Hi Abby,Thanks for sharing your experience with us.I passed my FPGEE and ur blog was truly helpful. I am waiting now for my certificate but I heard that it takes from 8-10 weeks to be sent, is that true? Can we start internships now or do we have to wait for the certificate? Of course, one of my biggest problems is to actually get an internship. Do we have to look for them ourselves or does the board assign us to specific pharmacies? Also, I was wondering if someone is trying to get licensed in texas because I need to know the procedures as they are a little confusing.Thank you very much

    • You have to apply to apply and look for a pharmacy to do the internship, if it will take long for you like mine one suggestion is do a volunteer job. This is just so you can finish right away and proceed to NAPLEX and be a pharmacist. It depends in where you are, here in CA it was hard to find a graduate pharmacist internship job, hopefully it will be much easier there. Good luck.

  76. Hi again Abby!Thanks for your quick responses. I have a few questions regarding internship. Can we start right away or do we have to get an intern license first? Also, can I apply to the board for internship before getting my certificate? Do I have to have a preceptor sign my intern application before sending it? I also heard that we get a score report and eligibility letter, is that true?Thanks!

    • I know most employer requires you to have it on hand but if you can show them that you have met the requirements they might give you a go. This of course depends on which pharmacy you go to. Independent chain most likely but the big ones you may want to wait for it but some managers may allow you. No the preceptor only signs the sheet once you have completed the hours of internship. I remember getting a certificate which I showed my employer but not the score report. I think the important thing you need is the certificate so that you can work which proves that you are eligible for internship and upon completion the signed letter of the preceptor so you can sit in for the NAPLEX. Hope this helps.

  77. hi, abby! came across your blog while searching for info on FPGEE without foreign pharm license. i graduated like more than 10 years ago. Unfortunately, i don’t have a philippine pharma license because i went directly to medicine after graduation, big mistake coz i’m now cosidering to get into pharmacy here in the US…i’ve heard that a foreign license/registration is a requirement to apply for FPGEE certification. have you heard of cases where they have waived foreign license requirement to sit for the exam?

    • Sorry Michelle, I believe license is a requirement from the country where you graduated especially if this is a requirement of the country where you graduated to practice pharmacy.

  78. Hi Abby,I graduated from UST with a BS Pharmacy degree and then pursued my PharmD degree here in US. I’m a licensed pharmacist in TN and have been looking for a pharmacist job (retail, hospital, pharmaceutical company) for a while now. I need a H1-B visa sponsorship and its hard to find a job now without any previous work experience plus that I would need a sponsorship. Have you encountered this problem through your blog? If yes, what do I have to do to be able to get a job?Another thing is, do you any Filipino who owned an independent pharmacy that I can talk to?Thanks!

    • Hi Danica! Sorry I don’t know anybody(filipino) who owns a store. We are on the same boat though, it is more than a year and I can’t find job in our area. I got a call today from the county and I’m hoping this will be my lucky break. I’ve got previous offers but most needs relocation meaning I have to drive more than 100 miles/day. I am a US citizen now but still I am experiencing what you are going thru so it means that the economy is tough and there are more local graduates thus more competition. As of the moment I am earning a technicians salary doing a pharmacist work, this is the best way for me to get experience. I hope you find a sponsor. Be positive and just hang in there, hopefully our break will come. Thanks

    • Hi Danica,Did you went back to school to finish a Pharm D program in TN? I’m a BS graduated too in Philippines batch 2002 in EAC. Went here in US (Florida) 2003 after passing Pinas Board with tourist visa to pursue this field. Within the same year an American Rph (director of LTC pharmacy) with filipina wife, help me to switch my tourist to H1-B. Then while struggling with FPGEE I applied for CPhT. Got married in 2008, had a kid now I’m an immigrant and trying to finish what I started in 2003, until now still work for LTC pharmacy as a tech and as years passed by I keep getting info’s from other foreign pharmacist I worked with about this entire FPGEE and able to get an intern license in FL and I’m in the middle of 2000+ hours of internship even I haven’t pass the FPGEE. And then NABP made a new rule that u can only take 3 times on taking this FPGEE so I only have 1 chance left. So I’m planning for a plan B in case I didn’t make it again (honestly Im scared 🙁 ).. please anybody I need an advise. thank you.

      • Hi Camili, don’t be discourage. have a concrete goal to focus on reviewing for your FPGEE. read CPR more than 4 times. Apleton and Lange book, read the answers. read updated ontinuing pharmacy education (free from other websites). read read read!

  79. Hello there, Thanks for this blog and of course, just like everybody else came upon here. I just read the whole thing in this blog. I think it’s kind of disheartening about foreign grads having a hard time finding an internship. I will be in this situation perhaps soon. My whole synopsis, I am a Filipina/US citizen with a US navy dad, studied and graduated in UST many years ago and worked in Mercury. Decided to come here in US, worked in one of the chain stores for 10 years as a pharmacy technician. Now, having passed FPGEE and Toefl (just got my scores today, 03/26/12) I understand I have to wait a couple of weeks to receive my FPGEC, or should I call them. For now, I don’t know what to do, I have been searching on-line for internship but to no avail. For one thing, I don’t need sponsorship, so I hope thats a consideration. Gone are the glory days that one can get an internship right away. I think this a fine place to vent and help each other out.Thanks

    • Thanks for sharing your story, I think even if it is tough to get into internship, you somehow get an edge because you have experience and you are a citizen. They are pretty good with the FPGEC, I guess if it is more than 3 weeks then you may have to call them. I know before its the employer running after the grads now you really have to be patient to get a position. Perhaps you can try to apply to the retail where you work as a tech, they know you and they may hire you again. Its worth a try 🙂 Best of luck.

      • Thanks abby and I know it’s good to be true in working in the same place but it’s time for me to fly off the nest. You know the saying “Don’t bite the hands that feeds you”, they are the reason that I pursued this quest, (@#$%^). Hopefully in other site of this chain.Goodluck to all though.

  80. Good Day Ate Abby! Hope you’re doing good. I just graduated high school and planning to take up Pharmacy course here in the Philippines, but my mom won’t let me. She’s forcing me take take up nursing instead which has a broad job vacancy in California, where I’ll be immigrating. She said that if I’ll graduate Pharmacy here, I’ll be needing to do internship practice for two years. But it doesn’t matter for me since I want to be a Pharmacist badly. So Ate, Nursing or Pharmacy? Thank you in advance. May God bless you always.

    • Hi Faye!This is a tough decision, actually it is hard to find jobs here in US nowadays no matter what. There are jobs out there but it is not as easy before, anyways I don’t want to be blamed later on if you end up pushing through my advice. But I will share some thoughts and you decide for yourself. I think in choosing a career path it is important that this is what you want, but you also have to consider the availability of jobs later on and if that career choice will make you happy working everyday with the said routine and task considering that this is what you will be doing for the rest if not most of your lifetime. Salary wise, pharmacist makes more depending on the state,area and specialty- here in CA the range is $50-80/hr. My mom in-law being a nurse if I am not mistaken it range from $30-50/hr. As for the internship CA as of now only requires 1500 hours of internship after you pass the equivalency test. Best of luck to you, get advise from your peeps where you will be migrating, ask how the demand is for both course. Ask for Gods guidance and stick to the course whatever you choose so you do not waste time, effort and money. Good luck 🙂

  81. Hey good day, i just ran into this blog after hours of searching on any website talking about PharmD. As of this sunday, I will be a BS-Pharm Graduate of a school here in Cebu! Im so thankful to have finished my BS-Pharm but my ultimate goal is to be a pharmacist back home in the USA ( I am a foreigner here in the Philippines, florida born)Anyways, i am now going to my next step, enrolling for PharmD or Clinical Pharma. I know of CEU-PharmD, UIC-Clinical, and USC-Clinical that offer programs elligble for the FP. Does anyone else know of any schools that offer programs?I hear that in CEU, you need to be licensed before enrolling into their program but at USC you dont need to. ( I have had an interview with USC ).I really would love to go to CEU, since a PharmD degree sounds alot nicer than Clinical Pharma.I hear of a PharmD or Clinical Pharma program in UST but i am not sure if it is true since i didnt see it on the website. Can anyone clarify if it is true or not?For those who have completed the PharmD Program in CEU or Clinical in USC, can they please share their experience such as difficulty of classes and how classes are and such forth.I do have positive thoughts on after i finish PharmD or Clinical, for not really having problems with Intern or the FP qualifications, (or if it would be a problem i would just worry about it when the time comes), but for now i am just wondering what the best options are for me since i have just finished my BS-PharmI am hoping that CEU will allow me to enroll into their program while not being a licensed pharmacist yet, but obtaining it during my 1st year into the program.Please let me know any details and please provide feedback on my situation, if possible…thank you all, and God bless 🙂

    • Hi Ed, I am just reposting some info from our colleagues, this was posted a few weeks back:I’m Faith I was also a graduate of a 4 year BS Pharmacy in the Philippines last year, and had been going back and forth here and the Philippines for my visa in order to finish my studies and take the board exam. October last year I migrated here, I wanted to take the fpgee and was disqualified as I was lacking with units. I decided to take a pharmacy technician by passing the board exam, but when I was about to apply for a position as a pharmtech from a Filipino pharmacy manager at Rite Aide she was considering me for a pharmacy intern. But to be a pharmacy intern I must past the fpgee and toefl. The friend of the pharmacy manager Tito Manny suggested me I go back to the Philippines to finish 1 year at a school in Davao (University of Immaculate Conception). This year I’ll be going back to the Philippines to take my clinical pharmacy there in order to be qualified here. Hope my information help.

      • Hey, its edward, ya I hear about UIC in davao being a school offering clinical pharmacy that is accredited for eligibility to take the FP, and there is a bunch of success stories from there as well.Good luck with that, your info was great but i am just trying to keep my options open to what school i would chose to go to and am trying to figure out how many schools offer Clinical Pharma here in the Phi.I checked other forums and I hear, CEU, USC, UIC, UST, UP, and 1 more school offer programs such as Clinical Pharmacy or PharmD to take the FP, i was just asking for any truth to what i have read.I am sure about CEU, USC, and UIC offering…Thank you for your post and i wish you the best there at UIC…

        • Hi! I am currently a 4th yr BS Clinical Pharmacy major in UST. Unfortunately, the program is open only to UST students. As of now, the faculty does not accept 4-yr pharmacy grads just to finish an additional of 1 year.

  82. Oh wait i just realized that was a repost… I misunderstood the 1st sentence the first time reading the comment, haha… anyways ya thank you for the repost… But what i am really wondering is what is stated in the 1st comment i wrote…God bless

  83. Hi Abby! I just came across your blog when I was searching for the FPGEE April 2012 results. And i was so happy to know that there are lots of kababayans here who r pharmacists also! 🙂 but it was sad to know that it’s really hard to find a company for the internship. And I think it would be more difficult for me since I need sponsorship. 🙁 I’m a UST graduate and was one of the first batch of their 5 yr program. I took the FPGEE last April & still waiting for the results. But I got scared when I read here that you guys studied for months! I think I won’t pass because I reviewed for like 1wk only. 🙁 Pls pray for me. 🙁 I don’t want to retake the test because it’s too expensive! grr. And you’re right, after the fpgee and toefl, the internship is the next obstacle. There’s really a lot of obstacles before becoming a full-pledge pharmacist here. haaay… magastos na, matagal pa. haha! And I’m scared too about the practice here because as u have said, it’s really different from the PHI. I’m afraid that I’ll make a lot of mistakes. haha! I know I’m a bit of a paranoid. :p but this blog really helped me not to feel so alone. 😀 thanks!

  84. Hi! I would like to know if credited ba ang Pharm.D. ng CEU to sit for the FPGEE? I have four year bachelors and I am hoping to be a Pharmacist in the US.What would be the best thing to do? Take UIC? or continue Pharm.D.?

    • Go to UIC in davao. I just got back from there, took me only 10 months. CEU program is 2 years. It does not make any difference when you get back here in the US.

  85. I was wondering if it really is a requirement to be licensed in the Philippines to be accepted to take the FPGEE. I read the website but it’s confusing to me. I’m a US citizen who went to UST to get my Pharmacy degree, but I am not planning on taking the board exam because I want to practice on Guam. Is there anyone who qualified for the FPGEE even without being licensed in the Philippines and if so, do I need any other documents in place of a license to practice? I appreciate your help. I’m graduating soon and I want to get everything prepared before I finish. Thanks!

  86. just like many of you, i stumbled on this blog, and i am thankful i did! i am a green card holder, with FPGEC and waiting for my California Intern License. Been here in the US for 5 months now and i just started sending out application letters/emails to the big retail pharmacies. i do not know what to expect as I got my FPGEC certificate way back in 2008 and only recently did i decide to pursue internship here.it seems that finding a pharmacy grad internship job is getting more and more difficult, especially for foreign pharmacy graduates like us. i am keeping my hopes up and hopefully, there would be someone out there with some suggestions on the best way to secure that very important internship. good luck to us all!

  87. Hi! I’m so happy that I found this blog where alot of filipinos are in the same situation as I am. I just recently passed the FP (april 19,2012) and currently looking for a phartech job here in Las Vegas so that I can later ask them to take me as an intern. I have to agree with everyone,practically all pharmacies are fully staffed! Not only did I apply online,i went around physically. Grabe! No one had an opening for pharmacy tech. Anyways,i just wanted to ask how many times can you retake the NAPLEX? I read online and some have said 3 while others 6..oh,and I read someone commented here about UIC (clinphar in davao) I would recommend enrolling there because that’s how I was able to qualify for the fpgee and so far,from the sept batch and april batch,all my classmates that took the FPGEE passed! =)

    • MM? i think i know you! 😛 you guys can go to davao and enroll in their clin. pharm. program, that’s what i did in order for me to take fpgee, but be sure to have your local license before applying for fpgee because it’s a requirement, after that you can take your toefl exam, then apply for a pharmacy intern license, then look for intern jobs, i think best way to be an intern is to volunteer, good luck 🙂

    • hi MM! You know what they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I agree with mich, I think the best way to get an internship nowadays is to volunteer. It will help you meet a lot of people who can help you. I am currently doing that now while studying for my FP on november and so far I have received 3 informal offers for internship. So, I say it doesn’t sound as bad, huh?I just got back too from PI, studied fro a year in UIC. Trust me Pharm Tech jobs are over saturated, before I left for PI last year, I was looking for tech jobs endlessly but to no avail. The smart ass in me had a brilliant idea of putting up a tech position on craigslist just to see how tough the competition was. I had over 50+ application and all highly qualified resumes at that. So yeah, look into volunteering, there’s VMSN, VA, check them out and I might see you there! I’m from Vegas too.

  88. Hi po to everyone here 🙂 my name is Jennie from Guam 19 yrs. old attending University of Guam taking up Nursing currently my 2nd year in college; however, I am planning to switch my major to Pharmacy. Actually, working in a Pharmacy is not new to me because after I graduate from high school my parents enrolled me in Pharmacy Technician training school for 4 months lang then I took my U.S Board Exam (PTCB) which is also computer-based examination; therefore, I am now a Pharmacy Tech. and can work in or off U.S. I am planning po sana to go back Philippines pra mag-aral ng Pharmacy since everyone is telling me to be in the program na lang since there is an open door for me in this specific area. Sabi po sakin ng former mentor ko in Pharm.Tech. I can study in P.I just as long as I take the 6 yrs. program which is PHARM. D. pra qualify ako when I go back in the states. I just need to look for a school po in P.I that is U.S accredited or that is if their school of pharmacy is equivalent to the school of pharmacy in U.S, do you have any ideas what colleges in P.I are same with U.S?? then the exams I need to take once I graduate in P.I are the following po ba? FPGEE, TOEFL & NAPLEX? another question pa po heheee 🙂 I am a U.S citizen, do I still need to take TOEFL?? thankkk you so much po in advance sa magrespond sakin. 🙂 GOD BLESS TO ALL PHARMACIST & FUTURE PHARMACIST.

    • Hi there. If you can just browse to the post I specifically made the post BOLD for the topic you are asking about. Kasi marami nga nag aask regarding the school and the program that will make a Phil pharmacy graduate seat in for the test. Marami na ang nag share who graduated and completed the program in PHI. I hope somebody can address your question directly pero if you want more information just read on the highlighted/Bold post kasi ito talaga yung topic na marami nag ask sa blog which limited naman ang alam ko. But thanks to those who keep posting and sharing to help everyone who is at lost in the process. Yes FPGEE,TOEFL, internship, NAPLEX and MPJE/CPJE. I am not definite about the TOEFL but if my memory serves me right ang alam ko ang basis nila is where you graduated from pag out of USA then you have to take TOEFL(di ko na matandaan…sorry) Best of luck.

  89. hi abby, ask ko lang if you know kung iaaccept ba ang 4 year pre-pharmacy coursework ko for the fpgee.well my situation kasi is like this, I graduated BS Accountancy then studied BS Pharmacy(4 year course), all in all I have 8 years of college study, so sabi sa nabp, pre pharmacy coursework might be considered.do you know anyone who was acceptedeven if 4 year pharmacy degree lang sila but they have another previous degree? thanx……

  90. mukhang mahirap nga maghapan ng internship jobs sa Bay Area. I am thinking of moving somewhere else. kahit na may green card, hirap pa rin. sana may mga makatulong sa atin na makahanap ng internship. good luck sa lahat

  91. i have my California Intern License and i have sent out more than 75 application letters – chains, independent pharmacies, hospitals, etc. but up to now, wala pa ako makuha positive response. i am losing heart. but i do not want to quit.

    • Hi abby,I live in Chicago and a green card holder soon to be a citizen and yet i also find difficulty finding a pharmacy intern job. if there are open position, they will prioritize local pharmacy students and grads here. Accept the fact in this recession time… most foreign interns are volunteers. I’ve been looking and walking -in to different chain stores..been interviewed and yet not selected. Accept the fact that most pharmacies and pharmacy schools here in the U.S have a memo of agreement to only hire local students and grads. 🙁 so sad..I’ve been tired of following up and volunteering to get experience so i guesss I will say yes to an offer with minimum pay an hour. I was employed , 9 years regulatory affairs manager in one of multi-national company, I have experience as a pharmacy tech and in customer service but still Walgreens and cvs, JewelOsco, Walmart turned down my application. Can I complain? i think the best way is to get what is the offer (better than volunteering) if I like to start and finish my 1200 hours internship requirement. My hospital pharmacy manager said where I am volunteering with , this is a poor offer and he keep on sending me meails for job leads. I felt desperate to take the offer of minimum pay an hour. What do you think?

      • HI Sheila! I know exactly how you feel. I am a US citizen and I volunteered for my internship with no pay or allowance. After passing NAPLEX, I thought it will be easier to find a job. But its been a year and I am still waiting so I went back to where I volunteered where I work as second pharmacist on a technicians salary. I guess better than nothing but keep hanging in there, I know each of us has our own time to achieve our destiny. Good luck to all of us.

  92. hi abby, ur blog is really good for pharmacy graduates in the philippines, I am undergraduate pharma student in the philippines I wasnt able to finish my studies because of my immigrant visa, i just want to ask if i will continue my pharmacy school here in US which is more harder in the philippines or here? and also is it a good idea to be in pharma fiEld in US? And also where can i apply as a part time job now for undergrad pharm like me? Im hoping for ur reply thanks abby 🙂

  93. hey abby, can you make a blog about why did you choose pharmacy as a course, and what is your experience, attitudes and what is you career choices while you are a stuent (e.g community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, industrial pharmacy and others) which of these field do you prefer when you are still a student. THANK YOU. you can email me. i need it for my thesis thank you :))

    • do all of the field and concentrate in industrial. I did my major internship at Abbot Lab. Phils. I love the job in the pharmaceutical industry. corporate pharmacist job is challenging. It offers a higher pay and many perks and priviledges.If I compare in the US the work of community pharmacist? sisiw!

  94. Hi Abby & All. I am a U.S. Born Citizen and I went to a caribean school for my Pharm.D. I graduated in 2009 and the nabp keeps rejecting me app. what makes it worst is the school i went to was bought out and the pharmacy program is now closed. Is there a place in the philippians I can go to? Or can i work there? I have a lawyer fighing my case but i need a Plan B……….I think i am up to Plan Q. Thanks to anyone who can help me. GodBless

    • Hi Tony, to be able to practice in PHilippines, you have to pass the Board Exam but for you to qualify you have to be a citizen. I know you can complete units if you need to in Philippines but your biggest obstacle is to qualify for the test since you are not a citizen. And before you can apply here in USA, one requirement will be a license if the country you graduated required this to practice as a pharmacist. If anyone here can correct me if they changed the requirement in Philippines that will be great, but as far as I know this is what the rule is back then.

      • You are not required to pass the local boards in PI if you are not a citizen. You have to prove to NABP that you finished school there and that you are not eligible to take the local boards because of the citizenship issue. It will not be a problem with the NABP. It says it clearly in the bulletin.

  95. im an american but i am married to a filippina. so i have lots of filippino friends. i have one guy he is like a son to me. he is 20 and wants to be a pharmacy tech. he was going to go to a chool here in san leandro, ca. the cost around $20,000. he was born in the philippines and his father lives there. so to save money he is thinking about living there for awhile and go to school there for pharmacy. i know a few philippinos that had a career there but when they came to the states they won’t except their degree here. my close friend’s brother in law was a dr in the phils. but here he finally made it to be an RN. my question is do you think my friend should go to school here or in the phils.?thank you

    • In my opinion, if money will be an issue go back to Philippines. My boss says the tuition right now per semester is at $50,000. Which may be the whole amount he needs to finish in Philippines, of course not including the living expense and travel. I know foreigner are required to pay bond depending on which school he goes to. There are extra step for us foreign grads which are the FPGEE test and TOEFL(not sure if he still needs it since he is a citizen). Your friend will also need to take the Board in the Philippines and be licensed since it is a requirement before he can take the test in USA. Since he was born there, I think there is a way to seat in for the local Board since he can apply for dual citizenship. This he needs to verify since everything will go to waste if he cannot be licensed in the foreign land. I am an MD too in Phi but practicing as a Pharmacist here in USA. Hope this helps.

      • Abby,After you passed the US test for pharmacy is it required to enroll pharma University while doing you internship ?. Do you need to go to a review class as well ? Thanks for your time in helping people find good info through your experienced..

      • Hello. I am african, going to pharmacy school in de la salle Ph. im in my third year right now and before coming to phi i was in Texas US for two years and decided to come to school here for different reason such as money and getting in the pharmacy program in the US was gonna take me long. unlike the ph where i get in the program straight. My course is 5 years but thy made it 4 years since we have been taking classes every summer.
        my question is this do you think i should go ahead and apply for the FPGEE exam after being done with my bachelor degree here or should apply to this university in florida called NOVA, it helps international pharmacists to get a pharmD degree.
        Please let me know what you think and i really appreciate your blog, it helps me alot.
        Blessings to you and yours.
        Divine Victoire Umugwaneza

  96. Hi abby, Im a doctor and pharmacist in the phils too. (UST both). Currently workin in Walgreens as phar tech while awaiting for the FPGEE this Nov 12 2012. I read from your previous blogs that you had a hard time finding a pharmacy that would accept you for the 1500 hours of internship prior to NAPLEX. Do big chains pharmacies like CVS Walgreens no longer accept interns? I never asked, trying to conceal my “agenda” as I have just started.

    • Hi, I already went through all the trouble (FPGEE, TOEFL, NAPLEX…) I am already practicing as a pharmacist but recently lost my job. I am still on an H1B visa since I’m not a resident. This makes it very hard to find a new employer. Companies don’t want to sponsor this kind of employees easily…Do you know of any good headhunter or any company hiring foreign pharmacy grads or pharmacists?

      • Hi Mae VirayI read in your post that you are applying for FPGEC, your post is october 2012, i am as well trying to apply for the FPGEC can we communicate? I dont know where to start with the process. Can you guide me ?

  97. hi! i was wondering if there is a list of pharmacies you can work as a pharmacist intern after fpgee or any community pharmacy would be okay? thank you!

  98. hi there! I’m a license pharmacist in the Philippines way back 1995 and planning to take the FPGEE exam , unfortunately I am confuse where to start . What are the documents needed to be submitted @ ECE and FPGEC ??? Do I need to go to PRC and the university where I graduated ??? Pls help

  99. If I may sum it all up-USA has no need for foreign pharmacy interns! A recent US labor study acknowledged the fact that the demand for pharmacists is increasing at a rate of 25% per year since 2005 BUT it also cite the fact that the supply of graduates is at par with the demand and this projection is good until 2030.There is a bias in hiring US citizens (for interns and licensed pharmacist) and this is understandable. The companies also are now enjoying cheaper labor (recent graduates) when compared to experienced (older pharmacist) which is why even tenured professionals are losing their jobs. The blogger repeatedly admits that she herself is finding difficulty in finding a job despite that she is a US citizen who got her degree in the Philippines. She may not lose hope because she is in the US and she is a citizen but that may not be the case for most foreign pharmacy graduates who are either about to take their FPGEE or is about to graduate from their bachelors program.My suggestion is forget about the US dream and look at the commonwealth countries as a more feasible option. Canada, New Zealand, Australia and UK can be better options to explore. If you are a Filipino who is betting his/her future in practicing abroad I implore you to read on job outlooks in your target country before you even take the Masters degree in Pharmacy.

  100. Hi abby, Im a pharmacist in our country Philippines, Im a naturalize u.s citizen.i take the fPGEE Exam already but I failed did you knows anyone here in the u.s has online school review for FPGEE? or do we need to go school here in the u.s? Im glad I found this forum so that I can ask some inquiries…

    • There are some books I recommended and used but online classes I am not quite sure if there is any. Sorry. You do not need to go back to school just take time and study hard for the test.

  101. Hi Abby,I was wondering what independent pharmacy did you go to? Do they sponsor H1B visa? I know it takes a lot of money to sponsor an international pharmacy graduate but i’m willing to volunteer and spend for everything as long as i have my internship. Thank you!

    • I’m sorry but my employer do not sponsor, I think before any company can sponsor they need to have certain number of employees. Right now since USA has a lot of graduating pharmacist even the big chain company has reduced, if at all, their number of applicants for sponsorship.

  102. Hi Abby! I just wanna ask if is it okay if I pursue taking up FPGEE plus the internship, NAPLEX, and others, and work as a pharmacist in the US even though I’m a fresh grad from the Philippines without any work experience? I already have a US visa and have relatives there and I’m really planning on working there after I pass the board exam here in PH. Please reply I badly need an advise 🙁 thank you so much and God bless you! You’re so nice for doing this, really helps a lot of people 🙂

    • I did not have work experience as a pharmacist since I used to be a radiologist in PHI. It is not a requirement, I can’t say it is a plus since the way of processing prescription here is different given the fact that they have a computer system different in each pharmacy to bill insurance. good luck

      • hi, i am a foreign graduate too from the PHilippines and I am currently preparing for the NAPLEX which I am scheduled to sit for in January. Anyone with tips or strategies on how I could pull this one off? I heard that the exam is quite difficult.

  103. Hi! I’m an incoming fourth year student here in the Philippines. I’m planning to work there in US. May I ask what are the requirements for me to be a licensed pharmacist there? And which is better, to take up PharmD course here (Additional 2 years) or take additional college units abroad? Than you so much.

  104. Hello Abby! I almost have the same situation as what Patricia has (fresh grad in UST with no work experience yet). Unfortunately, I was not able to apply in CEU for PharmDfor this SY because I am currently in the US to renew my GC. The entrance exam was held last April 5.I am also taking other options like going to USC or UIC. It will only take you for at least a year to complete everything and sit for FPGEE. However, I am wondering how do these schools prepare your transcript since according to the NABP site, “Coursework and internships completed after graduation will not be considered as part of the five-year pharmacy curriculum requirement.” Will they alter your transcript to make it look like you studied there during your bachelor’s degree? Do you know anyone who completed their Clinical Pharmacy in USC/UIC but graduated BS Pharmacy in other school?Another option is that to pursue PharmD here in the US (may it be the traditional or the non-traditional one). I know I will go back to square one, and it will cost me A LOT of TIME and MONEY. I doubt that they will credit my pharma courses too, but let us just see. I will go to some schools in our area to inquire on what they can do about it.Now the real question is, which option should I take? Which one is worth it?I hope you will find time in reading this post and thank you very much!

    • Hi! I took BS Pharm in UST, Batch 2005. I went to UIC in Davao to qualify for FPGEE. I was able to sit for the exam last April 2013. So yes, they do prepare your transcript. They do not alter it fraudulently. As far as I can remember they just put your UIC transcript on top of your original college transcript. I am not sure how it works but it appears as if you took your fifth year on that school (UIC). I have friends I went to school with in UIC who are US Citizens and are now working as pharmacists here in the US. So, UIC is legit. They just have a bit of an expensive tuition for that kind of program. Hope this helps!

      • This is one of the answers I was looking for. Thank you so much! So you just finished the program this year? Do you need to take the board exams first in the Philippines before taking FPGEE? Because if your friends are US Citizens, they won’t be able to take the local board exams, right? And also, where are you based? Are you an intern already? Sorry if I had too many questions. Thank you so much again! You helped me a lot!But for the meantime, I am looking for a pharmacy tech job in my area. I’m really hoping this will give me a very big chance once I come back as an intern.

        • I just read this. I’m not sure if you’re required to be licensed in your country. But my friends who were US citizens had to go back to the Phil to take the board exams and then they took the FPGEE. So I assume, it is required (?). I’m sure it is written in the Application Bulletin listed in the NABP website. Just go through it or you can call/ email NABP. They will respond.I am in New York, just took and passed TOEFL iBT so I am waiting for my FPGEC certificate (I think this will take 3months or more :c ). I am also having trouble understanding if I need to apply for an Intern license if I choose to have my internship in New Jersey. (Suggestions regarding Intern license application, anyone?) I suppose I can’t do anything much until I get hold of my certificate.If you are an American Citizen, you will not much have as much trouble as I do. I have friends from California, Vegas and New Jersey working in Walgreens and Kaiser Permanente. It took them less than a year to get the position.

          • Unfortunate, I’m not a US citizen. It will take me years to get that. Well, you could be a tech or volunteer at a pharmacy while waiting for your certificate. If I take the clinical pharmacy and finish it, will it be worth it to take it in April despite of having a month or so to prepare? Congratulations on passing the FPGEE btw.

      • hi cee! I am batch 2005 as well, but graduated in ceu. Im just wondering if you get a hold to land an internship? If you don’t mind sharing your experience that would be great.. thank you.

  105. Hi Abby, my wife passed the Fpgee and the Toefl ibt and had her FPGEC already. With the thread that I’m reading it seems that it’s very difficult to land an intern job. My wife does not need sponsorship. Is it possible to have internship in your company. Does your employer still accept foreign pharmacy graduates? Which state are you in?

    • Hi! I am in CA, the company I used to worked for does not really take intern. It just so happen my in-law gets medications from them and asked them a favor so I worked without compensation. But, I guess they were pleased with my work so they eventually hired me and worked there for a couple of years, I am on disability right now due to pregnancy but has also plans of having my own pharmacy if everything works out well. Thanks and good luck to your wife.

  106. Hi Abby,Just wanted to ask your opinion I graduated in P.I back in 2006 . So I wanted to continue my education to be PharmD here in the US it was a 4 year course and we know that the new rule is that you need to have 5 years in order to sit for FP. So the question is should I go to school here in Pomona who takes foreign grad but have to spend hundred thousand dollars. Or should I go back to. P.I for a year in order to qualify for the exam? Thanks . I’m CPhT before I took my BS and currently employed as a tech.

    • If you have the time to read on the comments this has been asked several times already. I even highlighted this topic since I am not so familiar with it, but fortunately people who is on the same predicament is able to shed some light to those need it. Thanks.

  107. Gooedevening po 🙂 Kumukuha po ako ng BS in pharmacy sa Fatima, magsesecond year pa lang po ako. may mga tips po ba kayong maibigay about pharma? 🙂 mejo kinakabahan lang po ako pero gusto kopo ung course ko and balak ko din po sana magwork abroad. kaso mukhang mahirap po atang makapasa.. kelangan pa din po atang magaral pag nagwork po sa ibang bansa. thankyou po kng makakareply po kayo :)) take care always! god bless you and your family po! ;D

  108. hi,kakabasa ko lang ng buong blog. its quite helpful pero may question lang ako. i’m planning to go back to PI to study pharmacy in ceu.. ( i live here in CA and a US Citizen too.) so just wondering is it still worth it to fly back and study for the whole 6years and come back take all the exams and get trained to work? i’ve been working as a pharmacy tech for almost 3 yrs now. and i reallly want to become a pharmacist the thing is its too expensive to study here specially to get in first!! saka maraming che che bureche before ka mkatuntong sa USC or anywhere .. kaya i’m planning sana to go to PI and study .. worth it pa ba?

    • Hi Angela, halos ganito din ang plano ko sa ngayon and gusto ko sanang malaman kung itinuloy mo ba ito? Ano nang status ng pag aaral mo? Okay naman ba?

  109. Dear abby,Thank you for information. I have a question: I have B2 visa for FPGEE eaxam. I passed it. Also, I passed Toefl exam. But, now i don’t know what should I do? I can not apply for internship positions because of my visa. How can I find a sponser? would you please help me or introduce some sponsers websites?Regards.

  110. Hi Abby,Very nice blog.I have a question: As from the blog, I recall that you had your MD from Philippines. So, you did your 4 year pharmacy degree in addition to MD or they considered some of the courses from the MD curriculum? I have my non-US MD, but I am considering to become a pharmacist in US rather than going through USMLE.Thank you.Ken

  111. i have a question regarding submission of licensure/registration to FPGEC to qualify for their exam. hypothetical scenario:year of grad from foreign pharm school (4yrs): 2013 (as filipino citizen)year license obrained: 2013 (will expire on 2015)naturalization to us citizen: 2017year of grad from clin phar in uic/usc: 2019 (as us citizen)accdg to fpgec bulletin, PRC should place my proof of lic/reg in a sealed brown envelope. how could that happen if my license is expired and if i cant renew my license (since im us citizen by that time)

  112. Hello po is there anyone na pharmacist working in canada? Canada po kc ako thanks just wna ask for some advse or experiences in getting the pharmacy license here

  113. hi cee! 🙂 i’m just wondering if you could help me (please :D). i have questions regarding FPGEE, Naplex, internship, etc. i’m also based here in NY, and a thomasian graduate 🙂 i just started this ‘journey’ of becoming a US pharmacist. hehe. and i really need someone to guide me. i don’t know anyone who has been in the same situation, (cause new york has diff. reqts, etc) hope you could help me! thanks! 🙂 email add is [email protected]

  114. Hi Abby & to all US Pharmacist hopefuls,just like me… I just read your comments & concerns, and thankful for Abby who started this blog. This is very helpful for every Pinoys who are very much interested to become a pharmacist here in the US. I’m from Texas and passed my FPGEE as well,but still have to work on my ToefliBT. Every state has different requirements,so I suggest to go and check their Pharmacy website for more infos. I just want to see if anybody is trying to apply here in Texas or already practicing here as a pharmacist,who I can communicate with. I have friends in California and Nevada who are already practicing pharmacists,but I wanted to connect with somebody particularly here in Texas,anyone?Best of luck to all of us! Just keep the faith and strive hard,surely it will pay off!

    • Hi Lala,I just recently passed the board exam and searching to find my way to work in Texas, USA since I have some relatives there but I’m not even a US citizen so I guess this is a really big challenge for me. Next year I might visit Texas if God willing to attend a Religious Conference and I’m planning to take CPhT exam so I could work there and maybe find an employer if I would continue my studies or take the needed exams in the future. Will I be allowed to take CPhT eventhough I’m a foreigner (will be staying for 3-6mos)? What kind of Visa do I need? And are there other jobs which I could possibly apply to such as those at the Manufacturing field or Drug industry (medical sales representative, chemical analyst, something related?)To others in this blog, Will this be possible too if the case will be in Canada?Thanks! God Bless to us Canada and US pharmacist hopefuls 🙂

    • Hi lala. I see that you are from Texas. Whereabouts? Have you sat down for the Naplex yet? I am still studying for the Naplex.

      • Hi. Firstly congratulations for finishing the hours. Are you a foreign grad? A US citizen? Did you finish your hours as a tech or intern?

      • Hi Angel! That’s nice to know. Can you advice me on where can i possibly get an internship? I am a Fiipino and have FPGEC. Your reply would be much appreciated 🙂

  115. Hi Abby,I’m a US citizen and planning to go back to philippines to study pharmacy! And someone told me that the US is no longer accepting pharmacy graduate to other country, is that true? I don’t know what to do now, I don’t want to waste my time and money if its true! Please help!

    • Oh we’re almost in the same boat. And I myself want to hear from Abby too.Hospitals and pharmacies usually prefer recruiting US grads. It doesn’t mean foreign grads can’t take exams and like that but they’ll have to work so hard getting internship and a job. What usually helps them the best is “connections” although we can’t rely on that all the time. And each state is a little different too. Again let’s hear from Abby.

      • Sorry guys I have been busy with my baby, 6 months old now. It is tough for foreign grads these days and the starting salary seems to be going down instead of increasing due to the number of local pharmacist graduating yearly. I know some who are now working where I worked at(independent) because it is hard to find job in any other field. But you are right, foreign grads can still take the test, it is a challenge to find work right now. Connections do work at times but these days your competitor might have connections as well so this will be a battle of experience and who has a stronger connection. I am thinking of a different and challenging path, will let you know how it goes. 😉

        • It’s fine Abby. I appreciate that you answered back. Now that is scary. I’m in third year of pharmacy program. Shall I transfer to any pharm program in the U.S then? It’s already too late to apply for fall 2014 so I might have to start from fall 2015 there. But is it worth the risk? From where I am studying I’ll be graduating in 2016. And if I continue there I’ll be done in year 2018 or 2019…and add to that the loan. -__-

  116. Hi Abby! I would like to thank you for making this forum. May I know what books to use for the FPGEE review? I am in CA too. Please advice me. Thank you.

  117. Hi Abby (and fellow Pinoy Rxists)Wondering if you can advise as the nature of the Naplex compared to the FPGEE. I am currently studying for the NAPLEX and I find it a lot to cover. Is it more difficult than the fpgee? And what materials would you recommend?Thank you kindly 🙂

    • Hello, My name is Richie and I am the owner of Mercury Pharmacy in Vallejo, California. We have a strong Filipino community here in Vallejo. Our pharmacy is small and I am open to accepting interns and pharmacist who need to gain experience and practice hours. It is not a paying position, however, you will find that NONE of the big pharmacies here in California hire foreigners without US licenses. Visit our website and submit an email to me. mercury-rx.com All my employees speak Tagalog and I am always happy to train pharmacists in the US. There is alot you will never learn in a classroom.

      • Hi! I just want to ask if you sponsor H1B visas for pharmacy interns. I am a recent FPGEE and TOEFL iBT passer and currently scouting for internship opportunities. Thanks!

      • Hi, Mr. Richie. I am Rhey. I’m a Filipino pharmacy graduate from UST. Il be taking my FPGEE tHis october. First of all i would like to say it is commendable of you that you are helping your kababayans. Secondly, I am wondering if you are accepting interns that are not US citizen. Unfortunately, I’m here on my tourist visa. Are you also sponsoring? Thank you.

  118. Hi! My husband is reviewing for NAPLEX, what is the best online review course out there? Is there anyone out there fr South Florida?

  119. Hi! Is it true that some hospitals there in US, don’t accept Filipino Pharmacist? Please reply. Thanks 🙂

  120. Hello po Abby. I am currently a pharmacy student dito sa Philippines at gusto ko lng po sana tanungin kung dapat licensed ka dn dito sa pinas para po makapag board exam sa US?

  121. I would advise any Filipino pharmacist awaiting licensing (in California) to working in inpatient pharmacy as a licensed pharmacy technician.-Richie Duenas, Pharm.D

  122. Hi! I’m waiting for my internship license here in Florida. I have the FPGEC certificate. I don’t know now what to do, where to apply for internship. Mukhang mahirap 🙁

    • Hey ive just read about your situation and i may have the same problem as you..i have fpgec and i found a sponsor for my visa to do the h1b visa but i dont know if i can do the h1b visa for a pharmacy intern?do u have any information about that? because i lack a social security number i cant do the intern hours and most of the h1b visa require pharmacy license so how will i get a license without doing the intern hours?if you can help that will be great

      • I’m not sure about it but I think, you can get a Social Security Card that is valid for work in the United States if you have h1b visa, and then after you get you social security card that’s when you can apply for internship license that can be valid to count your hours for internship… If may I ask, in which state are you applying?

        • no you dont understand. you cant get a social security number with out a h1b visa. but the question is can you do the h1b visa for a pharmacy intern not for a pharmacist. because you cant get the pharmacy license without completing the intern hours. i am applying in the state of florida.

  123. Hi abby! I would like to know what is the best way to get a pharmacy internship. I am also a Filipino and have a FPGEC certificate.

  124. hello.Proud Filipino po ako! At I am currently applying for FPGEE. I am almost finished with all of my requirements. I have a problem though, I hope you could help guide me. I have authenticated the photocopies of my license and certificate to practice pharmacy. According to the bulletin, it should be in a sealed envelope. Pwede na ba ang sealed DHL envelope? I noticed kasi that our fellow bloggers have an FPGEE certificate. And someone might know the answer. Thanks for such a helpful blog you have created. Fostered communication to aspiring Foreign pharmacy graduates

    • Hi! It needs to be in a sealed envelope with stamp and signature from PRC and another one from your school (transcript and yung cert of grad). 🙂

  125. hi abby, im here in LA.i am working as tech in leading drugstore.I tried to apply as intern but i havent heard with the intern coordinator.maybe bcoz they dont consider foreign grad.Though some of my acquaintances, they were considered.Not my luck???Anyway, what are the possible independent pharmacies that i can do hours? i tried to call some they dont accept too.Kinda frustrating?

  126. Hi ma’am abby. I just got here in LA 5days ago. I’m a Pharmacy graduate in UST(2010) and been working in a government hospital in Ph for 4yrs. I would like to work as a Pharmacist here or maybe start as a Pharmacy Tech but I don’t know how to start. I hope you can give me advice what to do first or the basic steps for the whole process. And if there’s an organization for Filipino pharmacists, it would be a pleasure to join. Looking forward to your reply. Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi giana! In a nutshell you have 4 exams to take 1. Fpgee, 2. Toefl ibt, 3. Naplex, 4. Mpje then you have to do 1500 hours of internship. The steps varies kung saang state ka. Like in texas and new york kailangan mong mag apply to take naplex and mpje before you can do internship. In other states naman you have to do internship first before you can apply for the naplex and mpje. Also in new york may compounding exam pa yata sila and more intern hours required. Basta unahin mo muna yung fpgee and toefl ibt to get your fpgec certificate kasi yun ang pinaka basic requirement. ?

      • Hi Ax One, is it really possible to take the NAPLEX before internship? Im done with the FPGEE and TOEFL. I’m living in CA and I wanted to take the NAPLEX first, however, would it be possible to take it in Texas even if I don’t live there? and do I have to actually take the exam there in texas? PLease guide me on this process, Thanks 🙂

    • Ang sa pharmacy tech naman just take the pharmacy tech exam given by ptcb to become certified. Then if you got your certificate you can register in your state if required.

  127. Hi Mam Abby,Im planning to take Fpgee this 2015. Im from Texas. Kailangan po ba original yung tor at Diploma from school. And kailangan po bang itranslate yung Filipino subjects sa TOR and wordings sa diploma? Paano din po magrequest ng license and board cert sa prc? Thank you.

  128. Hi everyone! Im in TX and just got my FPGEC certificate last nov. Next step is applying for internship while preparing for the naplex and mpje. May group ba dito ng mga pinoy pharmacists or anyone here in tx who is on the same boat as I am?

    • Hey..I also live in TX and looking for internship right now.I also appeared for FPGEE last year and passed.But,I gave TOEFL after FPGEE and now expecting my FPGEC next month.Meanwhile, I started looking for internship.Its hard to find internship for foreign students.Did u started your internship?where do you live in TX?I live in Beaumont,TX.

      • Congratulations. Im planning to take Fpgee. May i ask what are the requirements you submitted? Im confused abt the lic and board cert in sealed envelope? Do i need to go to prc for that? Thank you.

      • Hello, I’m a U.S. and filipino citizen planning to go back to Philippines for college since it’s cheaper and I don’t wanna be in debt. I also live in TX. How were you able to get your FPGEE? I think I’ll get my BS in Pharmacy first which takes 4 years. But they require 5+ years for the FPGEE, right? Can you please tell me what you did?

        • for me i graduated a long time ago but to my awareness there is no program in the philippines offering 5 year pharmacy course and you might be having to take additional courses to satisfy that requirement (Univ San Carlos Cebu). Or try universities in Malaysia offering 5 years…

        • Hi Pretzel, what school are you planning to study at?There are a few schools that offers the 5 year b.s pharm course in the Philippines.. As for me, i went to USC for the 4 year b.s pharmacy course, then proceeded to the optional 5th year clinical pharmacy course.. Hope this helps 🙂

        • hi cookie and ax one – also from houston – fort bend county and planning to take naplex january 2016. meron n kayo internship? appreciate leads. i will let you know if i have leads too. salamat

          • Hi patinghangin, Harris county ako, wala pa din eh focus pa ako sa pag review muna.. Will update you pag meron na din akong leads. Thanks

          • thanks cookie, buti nga dito sa texas we can get the license ahead of internship pero what i hear is its best to get internship sabay or talk to supervising pharmacist for ‘internship’ hours as a pharm tech/ unpaid intern – to help in the case studies sa exam. cheers

    • Hi kumusta? Im planning to take fpgee and still working on the requirements. Ano isusubmit na lic at board cert, kailangan ba photocopy and kailangan pa ba pumunta sa prc? I live in Tx as well.

  129. hi I’m in California right now. I believe you are not allowed to take FPGEC if you are a graduate 2003 and beyond right? Unless you took the 5 year course. Please guide me guys. Thanks

  130. hi, I am a graduating pharmacy student and planning to work abroad though hindi pa ako licensed pharmacist, nagtitingin tingin na ako kung paano maka apply sa abroad as a pharmacist. and I am really studying hard for the licensure examination here in Philippines. gusto ko po talagang magtrabaho sa abroad dahil nga sa konti lang ang sweldo ng pharmacists dito. sana matulungan nio ako if ever pharmacist na ako and looking for a job dyan sa us. thank you

  131. Hi.. i am a licensed pharmacist since 2011 here in the Phil. I want to study in the US to get a PharmD degree since i just completed a 4-year pharmacy curriculum here. I can’t take the FPGEC because of it and am stuck..i really need your help..thank you..any suggestions on what i should do?

  132. Hi to all, i am a fresh grad and just passed the boards here in the phils. And a still live here. I want to work abroad, but i dont know the process on how to apply. Can anybody please tell me how? ? thank you po ?

  133. hi i’ve recently passed the fpgee and toefel ibt exams… am just wating for my certificate… are there still companies sponsoring for foreign pharmacists?

  134. Hello po , kakabalik ko lang po dito sa US , graduate po ako ng 4 years phar,acy sa philippines sana nuon ko pa nalaman para dito nalang ako nag aral, siguro po by now pharmacist na po kayo. I really hope matulungan niyo po ako sa mga information if ano po dapat gawin if san po ako mag aaral or pwede na po ba ako mag exam. Thank you po

  135. Hi 🙂 Thank God for letting me find this blog. I just want to ask If are we still going to be called Dr. Even though we didn’t graduate as doctors in pharmacy in the philippines? 🙂 Thanks

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