Pharmacy School Team Places Second in State Business Challenge

March 19, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

A pharmacy school team nabbed second place in the Mississippi Public Universities' Blueprint Mississippi Social Business Challenge.

A pharmacy school team nabbed second place in the Mississippi Public Universities’ Blueprint Mississippi Social Business Challenge.

Public universities across the state were asked to create a plan that would address 1 of the 9 goals of the Mississippi Economic Council’s long-term economic development plan for the state, which includes improving educational achievement, creating a robust workforce, and promoting health care as an economic driver.

While Mississippi Valley State University won first prize for the idea of an academic support center located inside local Walmart stores, University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy students were awarded second place.

The pharmacy students and a faculty adviser devised a plan for establishing in-house pharmacy services within rural health clinics.

“Establishing in-house discount pharmacies in rural health clinics of this state and others can provide patients immediate access to affordable medications for their chronic conditions and create a lasting relationship between the pharmacist and patient,” the school’s proposal said.

The students envisioned that the pharmacies would be able to provide basic pharmacy services and offer diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension management through a Collaborative Practice Agreement with a physician. In addition, these pharmacies would focus their stock on commonly filled medications, such as antibiotics, chronic disease medications, and contraceptives. Pharmacists would also offer medication therapy management (MTM), basic screenings, vaccinations, and proper prenatal care education, in addition to medication and disease counseling, and health fairs.

The pharmacy students’ business plan also considered revenue streams, such as prescription dispensing and MTM services.

“We will begin our venture in Mississippi, as we know that some of our nation’s worst health outcomes can be found right here at home,” the proposal stated. “However, this idea is quickly adaptable to various situations and types of clinics, and we will push to see it expand across the Southeast and further.”