NCPA Student Members Take Center Stage at Pharmacy Business Plan Competition


By Kevin Schweers

Three teams of pharmacy students poised well beyond their years vied in a live competition at the 11th annual Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, the winner of which will be announced at today’s Opening General Session of the NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Austin, Texas.

For the third consecutive year, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy (UAMS) is among the three finalists. This year’s team members are Leah Cyphers, Ashle Reid, Brandon Achor and Julianna Marcus.

Team UAMS proposes to buy 120-year-old Argenta Drug Co., located in a revitalized neighborhood of downtown North Little Rock, Ark. The team members intend to recoup their investment and expand the pharmacy’s business through renovations and increasing the patient care services offered to further meet the community’s health needs.

A dramatic expansion of the marketing budget, including enhanced social media outreach, is intended to grow the pharmacy’s patient clientele. Another key to their anticipated success is a proposed MedManagers Rx Consulting service— an effort to take advantage of the new trend in health care of establishing patient-centered medical homes (PCMH).

The second team to move on to the live presentation round, was the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), comprised of Jay Barcelon, Christopher Foo, Nancy Wong, Mariko Yokokura.

Increasingly hospitals are worried about incurring fines from Medicare should the readmission rate for their patients become too high, in the eyes of this federal program. USCF intends to tap into this need by marketing to area hospitals Cornerstone Care, an aggressive pharmacist-patient intervention program to boost medication adherence and reduce such hospitalizations, particularly among patients dealing heart disease and other serious conditions. Their Oakland, Calif.-based Elmhurst Pharmacy would also offer robust long-term care and home health services and provide all patients with 24/7 availability to a pharmacist consultation by phone.

Guardian Pharmacy is the vision of the team from the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa, comprised of Lindsay Bebout, Lindsey Crane and Latosha Zugelder. They propose running a successful pharmacy practice in Tulsa by focusing on pediatric patients, even creating a mascot, Captain Capsule, pictured here with team members, to appeal to kids.

Other pediatric specialty offerings include medication flavoring; a prize box for kids who take their medicine; an in-store play area themed Captain Capsule’s PharmacyLand; a child-friendly chair for immunizations; and creative DME products that look like toys.

For patients of all sizes, the team intends to provide delivery; compounding; immunizations; medication therapy management; medication synchronization (through NCPA’s Simplify My Meds®); and education classes.

For more information on the competition, click here.

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