Pharmacy Looks to Defend National Title


ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Southern School of Pharmacy will defend its Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition title this year at the National Community Pharmacist Association’s (NCPA) annual convention in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct.


In 2004, the Southern School of Pharmacy’s student NCPA chapter won the first-ever Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, which requires pharmacy students to develop a business plan for opening a new community pharmacy or for purchasing an existing one.

The NCPA named three schools as finalists this year for the Pruitt-Schutte Competition at the Association of Colleges of Pharmacy annual meeting in Cincinnati on July 10. The Southern School of Pharmacy is the only team among last year’s three finalists to be selected again. This year, Mercer’s NCPA delegation will compete against the University of Buffalo and the University of the Pacific.

Each school is represented by a four-student team, which is charged with developing a business plan and presenting it at the annual convention. The 2005 Mercer NCPA delegation includes Vicky Pan of Atlanta; April Frye of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Justin Strickland of Cartersville, Ga., and John Price of Twin City, Ga. Dr. Richard Jackson, director of the Center for Community Pharmacy Practice and Research and professor of clinical and administrative sciences, serves as the team’s faculty advisor.

“We are very pleased with our team’s performance in reaching the finals for the second year in a row – they worked very hard to get there,” said Dr. H.W. “Ted” Mathews, dean of the Southern School of Pharmacy. “We believe our team’s effort is a reflection of the quality of our students at the Southern School of Pharmacy as well as our commitment to be a national leader in providing educational excellence.”

The competition is named to honor two great champions of independent pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt, Sr., and H. Joseph Schutte, according to the NCPA. The competition is supported by the Pruitt and Schutte families, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and the NCPA Foundation. 

Team members and the adviser for the three finalists will receive complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to the 107th NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., October 15-19.

First Place provides $3,000 to the NCPA student chapter, and $3,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy. The team members, team adviser, and the dean will receive complimentary registration, travel and lodging to NCPA’s 2006 Multiple Locations Pharmacy Conference in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, February 8-11, 2006.

About the Southern School of Pharmacy:

Mercer University’s Southern School of Pharmacy has a century-long tradition of excellence and a national reputation for producing outstanding leaders in the profession of pharmacy. In September 1981, Southern School of Pharmacy became the first pharmacy school in the Southeast and fifth in the nation to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) as its sole professional degree. The School also offers the Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences. Pharmacists from Mercer are currently practicing in 43 states and in several foreign countries.

About the National Community Pharmacists Association:

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) 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 represent an $84 billion marketplace, dispensing nearly half of the nation’s retail prescription medicines.