PharmD program approved

(Edmonton) Alberta’s first doctor of pharmacy degree program will launch soon in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The PharmD degree is a clinical doctorate degree, like a medical degree. It serves to recognize advanced education in patient care and will focus on several areas that include the background and clinical skills required for the provision of optimal patient-centred care, preparation for pharmacists’ increased scope of practice, additional prescribing authority and contributions to team-based care.

“We are extremely pleased and excited about receiving final approval to offer the doctor of pharmacy degree program at the University of Alberta,” said James Kehrer, dean of the faculty. “This new program will graduate pharmacists educated to a higher level, with more experience in team-based collaborative care, positioning them to take on the evolving expectations of pharmacists upon graduation. This includes producing a more confident graduate who will practise to the full scope of pharmacy in various patient-care settings, including immunizations, prescribing, ordering lab tests and other patient-centred activities that will improve the safety and effectiveness of how patients use their medications.

“The degree also gives the faculty the ability to award an academic credential that appropriately recognizes the extensive education pharmacists now receive and will put the University of Alberta on par with other pharmacy programs in in some Canadian provinces and the United States.”

Faculty students who graduate in 2013 will be the first group with the option to apply for the PharmD program and plans also include placement for up to 10 practicing pharmacists for September 2014. The faculty has started to work on the course content and will soon start the process of hiring and determining who will lead and deliver the one-year program.

The program has been 20 years in the making, from the initial concept to University of Alberta Board-of-Governors approval in 2010 and now provincial approval. “This has been a long process, but I am excited about the approval and what it means for our program,” said Kehrer.

The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences provides a PharmD Fact Sheet on their homepage under Quick Links.