The University of Saskatchewan is set to launch a new pharmacy curriculum in fall 2017.
The U of S announced Tuesday a Doctor of Pharmacy program will replace the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy as the first professional degree required as a licensed pharmacist.
In a news release, the dean of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, Kishor Wasan, said the new program is aimed at ensuring graduates are competitive in the job market.
“As recent as 2015, pharmacists in Saskatchewan were granted new responsibilities, such as administering flu vaccines and prescribing medications for minor ailments, such as cold sores or seasonal allergies,” Wasan said.
The new four-year program offers some significant changes to the current model:
- Right now, students take classes in basic sciences, such as chemistry and pharmacology, during their first two years, while pharmacy classes are scheduled in the third and fourth years.
- Under the new curriculum, students will be required to complete at least two years of pre-requisite classes before applying to the pharmacy program.
- The new curriculum will include 40 weeks of experiential learning, with 32 weeks of advanced practice in the fourth year.
- The first three years of the program feature two four-week practice experiences, as well as shorter weekly opportunities.
Out of 10 pharmacy schools in Canada, five have already introduced similar program, according to the U of S.
The tuition rate for the new Doctor of Pharmacy program will be $17,000 per student per year; an increase over the current bachelor degree program.
Those holding the existing Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy will continue to have their degrees recognized by the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals, the provincial regulatory body.
The U of S said a bridging program for those pharmacists interested in upgrading to the Doctor of Pharmacy will be developed after the new program is implemented.
Regular updates on the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum development process are available online.