WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
Office of the President
A joint request with the University of Washington to establish the Pharm-D as the entry-level professional degree for pharmacists. This program will serve an additional students.
The American Council on Pharmacy Education, the accrediting agency for pharmacy programs, declared its intent in 1989 to initiate procedures to limit accreditation only to schools offering the Pharm.D. as the entry-level professional degree. Proposed new accrediting standards were published in April 1993, with a scheduled adoption date of June 1997. Currently, nearly 50% of pharmacy colleges or schools offer the Pharm.D. upon completion of entry-level training.
This degree approach has been endorsed by eight major national pharmacy organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy, the Board of Managers of the Washington State Pharmacy Association, the Washington State Society of Hospital Pharmacists House of Delegates, the WSU School of Pharmacy Advisory Board and the UW School of Pharmacy Alumni Board. In January 1994, the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) approved a plan jointly developed by the University of Washington and Washington State University to establish the Pharm.D. as the sole professional pharmacy degree at both universities. Subsequently, the HECB approved both the University of Washington and Washington State University Pharm.D. proposals in June 1994.
Educational requirements for pharmacists have changed in response to expanded needs for access to pharmaceutical services. The driving forces for change are the growth in the number, complexity, and cost of new pharmaceutical agents, which require pharmacists to have a broader scope and increased depth of knowledge. The professional responsibilities of pharmacists include disease prevention, public education, dispensing medications, and monitoring patients fore therapeutic outcomes. Pharmacists work cooperatively with other health care providers to develop drug use policy and implement patient-specific medication plans.
The proposed Doctor of Pharmacy program will require two years of pre-pharmacy education followed by four years of professional study in the Pharm.D. program. This compares to the current five-year Bachelor's program and optional two-year post-baccalaureate program to obtain the previous Pharm.D.
The first students to be admitted to the entry-level Pharm.D. will be in the 1995-96 academic year. The last students to be admitted to the B.S. and post-baccalaureate Pharm.D. programs will be in the 1994-95 and 1996-97 academic years, respectively. The existing programs will be eliminated at the time these last students obtain their degrees.
The HECB has requested that a mechanism be developed to allow the Bachelor's trained pharmacists statewide to obtain the Pharm.D. In response, the University of Washington and Washington State University are developing jointly an extended degree program that will allow these individuals to upgrade their degree to the Pharm. D.
The demand for pharmacists in the State of Washington is strong and the number of applicants for admission to the pharmacy programs at both the University of Washington and Washington State University is at an all time high. Both Schools enjoy a national reputation for excellence. As more universities implement degree conversion, the competitiveness of the Washington schools will be compromised if they do not convert their degree programs. Future graduates without a Pharm.D. degree will be at a disadvantage in the marketplace. The transition to the new Pharm.D. program will better enable graduates to serve the health care needs of the citizens of the state, assure a contemporary education for students, and preserve the quality of the respective Schools of Pharmacy.
The cost per FTE students of the Pharm.D. program is comparable to the cost of other graduate-level health sciences degree programs in the State. There are additional costs involved in establishing the four-year, entry-level Pharm.D. program. Funding currently devoted to the Bachelor's and post-baccalaureate Pharm.D. program will be reallocated to support the new Pharm.D. The 1995-97 biennial budget requests from both institutions include a request for additional state funding along with a proposal to increase the program's tuition from the undergraduate to the graduate student rate. The requests for additional funds differ somewhat initially as a result of differences in implementation plans, ultimately arriving at the same funding when the programs are fully implemented as shown below and in the enclosed table.
FY 96 FY 97 TOTAL
A. State General Fund (001) 112,000 284,000 396,000
Student Operating Fees (149) 98,000 186,000 284,000
+ Internal Reallocation 649,000 1,490,000 2,139,000
859,000 1,960,000 2,819,000