SASKATOON – Keeping up with changing roles is driving a curriculum shift at the University of Saskatchewan. Starting in fall 2017, a doctor of pharmacy program will replace the bachelor of science in pharmacy degree.
Kishor Wasan, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, said the new program will provide the skills and knowledge necessary as the role of a pharmacist expands.
“Pharmacists’ roles are changing and we’re proactively adapting our curriculum for these new roles,” said Wasan.
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“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.”
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The new program will mark a significant change to the existing pharmacy program.
Currently, students take basic courses such as chemistry and pharmacology during the first two years followed by two years of pharmacy.
The new program will require students to complete at least two years of pre-requisite classes before applying to the pharmacy program.
“In the new curriculum, all four years of the program will be spent learning the science and skills of pharmacy, including a substantial experiential learning component,” said Wasan.
Tuition is also going up – to $17,000 per year.
A bridging program will also be developed for current pharmacists to upgrade to the doctor of pharmacy, however their current bachelor of science in pharmacy degrees will continue to be recognized.
Five of the country’s 10 pharmacy schools have already introduced similar programs with two more introducing the program this fall.
Correction: This story originally stated the new program would start this fall. It has been corrected to stated the new pharmacy program starts in fall 2017.