Student Business Plan Competition

University of Saskatchewan
Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition


While pharmacists continually rate as one of the most easily accessible and trusted professions, pharmacists have been, for the most part, underutilized and overworked.  In recent years there has been greater recognition of the expertise of pharmacists, as the profession moves away from a product-orientated, technical role, toward a more patient-orientated, clinical role.  While changes have occurred, the full utilization of pharmacists’ expertise has been slow. 

There have been numerous studies and documented cases that show greater clinical outcomes when pharmacists have a more involved role in patient care, yet adoption of that clinical role has been, in part, hampered by the majority of the profession not fully appreciating the managerial implications of such an enhanced role. 

As stated by Harris et al.1, “translating the evidence supporting clinical pharmacy services into practice in the ambulatory setting has been hampered by the lack of a clear business-practice model.” In recognition of this need, the Management in Pharmacy (PHARM 417) course was redesigned in the 2010-2011 academic year to include a new project – a business plan.  Furthermore, one of the strategic directions of the Blueprint for Pharmacy is to “provide pharmacy services that are financially viable and sustainable to optimize medication use, promote wellness and disease prevention.”2

For the Plan, pharmacy student groups of 5-6 students complete a business plan in which the goal is to implement a new, sustainable service into an existing practice.  The students are free to choose where they would like to implement the new service, as well as what service they would like to implement.  Guidelines are intentionally left broad so that the student groups can be creative in completing their Plan.  After submitting their Plans, the student groups present their plans in a formal competition.

The Pharmasave-Rubicon Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition is an annual event where pharmacy students present their business plans to a panel of pharmacy stakeholders.  Stakeholders include representatives from pharmacy regulatory, advocacy, and industry organizations, as well as a representative from a pharmacy professional journal and an accounting firm.

"Love the Business Plan Competition! It empowers pharmacy students to be innovative and creative and shows us that we can change or improve the field we are going into." 3

1 Harris, Baker, Berry, Halloran, Lindauer, Ragucci, McGivney, Taylor, and Haines (2008). Developing a Business-Practice Model for Pharmacy Services in Ambulatory Settings. Pharmacotherapy; 28(2):7e–34e.

2 Task Force on a Blueprint for Pharmacy. (2008). Blueprint for Pharmacy: The Vision for Pharmacy. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Pharmacists Association.

3 Perepelkin & Killeen (2011). 2011 University of Saskatchewan Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition.  Canadian Pharmacists Journal; 144 (4), 158-159.

Date & Location

The Fourth Annual Pharmasave-Rubicon Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition will be held on Wednesday March 26, 2014 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. The Competition will take place in Convocation Hall, in the Peter MacKinnon Building, on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon.


The Competition would not be possible without the overwhelming support from local, provincial, and national stakeholders.

Our 2012-2013 title sponsors are Pharmasave (Central) and Rubicon Pharmacies LP.

Pharmasave Rubicon Pharmacies

Our participating sponsors are:

PAS (Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan) Wilson Centre
Wiegers Logo


Go Forward Basis

The Pharmasave-Rubicon Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition is an annual event where students present their business plans to a panel of judges made up of pharmacy stakeholders.  Stakeholders include representatives from pharmacy regulatory, advocacy, and industry organizations, as well as a professional financial services firm. 

Furthermore, if you’re an organization that would like to enquire about future sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jason Perepelkin. 

Please send all correspondence to Jason Perepelkin
Phone: 306.966.6992
Fax: 306.966.6377

Previous Competitions



The 2013 Competition was held Thursday March 28th in Convocation Hall. Judges and sponsors were from: Pharmasave (Central), Rubicon Pharmacies LP, the Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan, Wiegers Financial, and the W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence. The competition was very successful with sponsors wanting to continue to participate on a go forward basis.

Link to the Global Saskatoon news story:

First Place: PAW - Pharmaceuticals for Animal Wellness
Team Members: Jenna Foulds, Ariane Lewis, Amy Lix, Lisa Lukye, and Stephanie Miller
Plan Summary: The mission and sole purpose of the implementation of Pharmaceuticals for Animal Wellness (PAW) is to improve the lives of animals and their owners through the provision of specialized veterinary pharmaceuticals and services. The vision for PAW is to refresh the world of veterinary pharmacy, to empower pet owners, and to provide excellence in pharmaceutical care for optimal animal health. The realization of this business venture will address the underserved population of Saskatoon and surrounding area. PAW’s fundamental values are passion for our patients, expertise, professionalism and accountability, excellence in products and services, and community integration.

Second Place: CHAMP - Comprehensive HIV Assistance in Methadone Patients Program
Team Members: Jeffrey Herbert, Alanna Hoesgen, Kalen MacLeod, Jill Okrainetz, Patrick Parkinson, and Jenna Yurkewich
Plan Summary: The Comprehensive HIV Assistance in Methadone Patients Program (CHAMP) will provide medication management reviews for patients currently enrolled in the methadone assistance program at Medi-Cross Pharmasave, Prince Albert. The program will run Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during regular pharmacy hours. Patients on methadone will be identified during the DOT (directly observed therapy) with questions regarding medication side effects, drug therapy problems, and knowledge of their current condition. Patients willing to participate in the CHAMP program will receive individualized care conducted through private, thirty-minute appointments focusing on a medication review, as well as appropriate follow up.

Third Place: COPE - Community Outreach Palliative Endeavour
Team Members: Kristen Antunes, Arlene Dies, Harmanpreet Gill, Margaret Maria James, Juanita Lui, and Alyssa MacDougall
Plan Summary: Palliative care services in Saskatchewan are limited to patients whose treatment for cure or prolongation of life is no longer the primary goal. COPE (Community Outreach Palliative Endeavour) will expand these inclusion criteria to incorporate patients suffering from advanced stage chronic diseases to reflect the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association approach. Acute palliative care in Saskatoon is provided in a hospital setting. While additional homecare is available, the number of allotted hours of home care for palliative patients has significantly reduced leaving vulnerable patients at higher risk of acute and chronic complications due to improper management of their illness. Unfortunately, this limited availability leads to lengthy and an increased number of hospital stays. COPE will offer services designed to improve the patient’s quality of life: medication therapy management, medication assessment with compliance packaging, pain management, minor ailments, ostomy products, and nutrition products.


Winning Team 2011-2012

The 2011-2012 Pharmasave-Rubicon Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition was held Thursday March 29th in Convocation Hall.  Judges and sponsors were from: Pharmasave (Central), Rubicon Pharmacies LP, Blueprint for Pharmacy National Coordinating Office, the Canadian Pharmacists Journal, Hergott Duval Stack Chartered Accountants, the Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan, Value Invest/Value Drug Mart, and the W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence; Leah Phillips also joined the judging panel as a past winner of the competition.  Below is information on the teams that placed first, second and third out of sixteen teams.   

First Place: Holistic Education, Awareness, and Treatment of Infectious Disease (HEATID) 

Team Members: Brayden Leclair, Marc Legge, Ty Little, James Nataraj, Kellie Towriss, and Kyle Wray 

Plan Summary: HEATID is a three-­‐year pilot program, which is an integrative approach to treating, managing and preventing infectious diseases in the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region and surrounding northern communities. HEATID is aligned with the HIV Provincial Strategy Team’s goals to decrease the prevalence of HIV in Saskatchewan and improve overall population health in the immediate future. HEATID aims to integrate an Infectious Disease Pharmacist into the already established interdisciplinary team at the Prince Albert Sexual Health Clinic.  

Second Place: AMETHYST - Adolescent Mental Health Pharmacy Services 

Team Members: Melissa Abramovic, Sana Ahmed, Bevin Akister. Lindsey Usher, and Silva Vujanovic 

Plan Summary: AMETHYST is a for-profit cognitive service providing individualized medication assessment and education services for ADHD youth. For an initial consultation, part of the price (2/3 = $60) will be billed using the new Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan (PAS) fee for medication assessments and compliance packaging for mental health patients. The remainder as well as subsequent counselling services will be paid for by the patient ($30), until a potential fee specific for our service is negotiated based on ECHO model performance data. 

Third Place: Jae's Pharmacy 

Team Members: Kristen Bilawchuk, Amanda Cottenie, Jaelee Guenther, Brittany Singbeil, Sara Storle, and Amy Taillieu 

Plan Summary: Jae’s Pharmacy Ltd. is a green field pharmacy that is projected to open on May 28th, 2012 in the southwest Saskatchewan community of Shaunavon. Jae’s Pharmacy Ltd. is an independently owned pharmacy operating under the PharmaChoice banner.  The pharmacy will operate as a clinic pharmacy, with prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and cognitive pharmaceutical services comprising the products and services to be offered; there will be no non-health related products sold, such as greeting cards and convenience foods. Patient education, medication reconciliation, and health promotion will be integral to the provision of patient‐centred care.



Winning Team 2010-2011

Congratulations to the AWASIS Business Plan team consisting of Graham Houk, Lana Dean, Amy Lamb, Kristin Schmidt, Leah Phillips and Lexi Shewchuk on winning the Pharmacy Management Student Business Plan Competition 2011! The competition was held in the College on April 5th, where 15 groups of third year pharmacy students presented their business plans to a panel of judges. The event was created and organized by Dr. Jason Perepelkin, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, and was sponsored by Pharmasave, the Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Pharmacists Journal.

Congrats to the AWASIS Business Plan team!