UB Team in Finals of National Pharmacy Schools Student Competition

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: July 24, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A team from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has again reached the finals of a major student competition.

The UB team is one of three finalists in the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. The other teams are from the University of Washington and Washington State University.

The competition, now in its fourth year, "provides a tremendous learning opportunity for pharmacy students to get hands-on experience in creating solid business plans in today's extremely difficult reimbursement environment for prescription drugs," according to NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce Roberts, R.Ph., who noted that several participants have gone on to successfully utilize their plans after graduating from pharmacy school.

The finalists, chosen from 32 entries submitted by U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy, will compete live during the NCPA's 109th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Anaheim, Calif., Oct. 13-17.

This is the third year that UB has entered the competition, according to team advisor Karl Fiebelkorn, assistant dean for student affairs and director of professional relations for the UB pharmacy school. UB finished in second place in its first competition two years ago and in fourth place last year.

Members of the current UB team include Alexandra T. Centeno of Rome, team captain Kathryn Jones of Rochester, Christina Ramsay of Clarence, and Liliana Yohonn of Fairport.

"The women in this team are extremely determined to win the competition this year and their plan is very comprehensive and quite unique," Fiebelkorn said.

The national student competition is the first of its kind in the pharmacy profession and is named to honor two champions of independent pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt, Sr., and H. Joseph Schutte. Their families support the competition along with the NCPA Foundation and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

NCPA representatives, as well as pharmacy and drug company personnel, serve as the judges. Schools with NCPA student chapters are eligible to compete.

The winning team will receive $3,000 for its NCPA student chapter and an additional $3,000 for its school to use to promote independent pharmacy practice. The winning team, team advisor and school dean also receive complimentary registration, travel and lodging for the NCPA Multiple Locations Pharmacy Conference to be held next February in Cancun, Mexico.

New this year, the NCPA will recognize the top 10 winners in the competition.

The National Community Pharmacists Association represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 24,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises and independent chains employ over 300,000 employees and dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to http://www.ncpanet.org.