UAMS Student Pharmacists Win National Business Plan Competition

By Nate Hinkel

 L-R Kevin Barton, Tyler Shinabery, Schwanda Flowers, Blake Johnson, Tiffany Berkemeyer, Brandyn England, Anne Pace, Dean Stephanie Gardner 

The UAMS College of Pharmacy’s (left to right) Kevin Barton, Tyler Shinabery, Schwanda Flowers, Blake Johnson, Tiffany Berkemeyer, Brandyn England, Anne Pace and Dean Stephanie Gardner

The 9th annual competition brought three teams of students together to present ideas of community pharmacy ownership.

“By giving students a chance to develop and test their business models, we are able to better prepare tomorrow’s pharmacy leaders,” said B. Douglas Hoey, R.Ph., chief executive officer of the NCPA.  

After a competition among 40 entries in the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, the three finalists presented their plans before a panel of judges Oct. 13. Other schools in the competition were the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.

The UAMS College of Pharmacy team comprised five fourth-year students: Brandyn England, team captain, of Hope; Kevin Barton of Greenwood; and Tiffany Berkemeyer, Blake Johnson and Tyler Shinabery, all of Little Rock.

Schwanda Flowers, Pharm.D., associate dean for Student Affairs and Faculty Development, and Anne Pace, Pharm.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, were advisors of the group.

“We are extremely proud of these students who have been working on their plan for more than a year,” said Flowers. “They put in countless hours and worked extremely hard to make this presentation the very best in the competition. They did an excellent job of representing the UAMS College of Pharmacy and the profession in Arkansas.”

The students identified a longtime independent pharmacy in Little Rock whose owner wishes to transfer control to another independently owned pharmacy. Tto grow the pharmacy and repay the purchasing costs, the team outlined opportunities for an innovative marketing plan, created a more effective and patient-friendly store front end and developed wellness-centered services for patients, including a personalized medication dosing program based on a patient’s individual genetic makeup. The pharmacy will stress the “community” in independent community pharmacy and will provide health care with innovative science and technology.

The students were featured in an article that appeared recently in The Dose, NCPA’s community pharmacist information resource.