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.
"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 Sixth Annual Pharmasave-Rubicon Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition will be held on Wednesday March 23rd, 2016 from 12:00 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 2015-2016 title sponsors are Pharmasave (Central) and Rubicon Pharmacies LP.
Our participating sponsors are:
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
The Fifth Annual Pharmasave-Rubicon Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition was held Wednesday March 25th 2015 in Convocation Hall, on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon. Judges and sponsors were from: Pharmasave (Central), Rubicon Pharmacies LP, the Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan, and Wiegers Financial & Benefits. The competition was very successful with sponsors wanting to continue to participate on a go forward basis.
Plans this year focused on many aspects of practice, including harm reduction, purchasing and repositioning an independent pharmacy, green pharmacy, medication assessment on patient discharge, learning initiative for pharmacy students, a travel clinic, and treatment for insomnia. While all 14 plans were innovative and unique in their own way, below are the titles, team members, and a short description of the top three teams.
First Place: Dog River Pharmacy
Team Members: Karmen Coffey, Tanya Fontaine, Brittney Holland, Travis Maley, Janelle Shewchuk, and Emma Sloboshan
Plan Summary: For over 100 years, Dog River Pharmacy has provided service to the small town of Dog River, Saskatchewan and its surrounding communities. Part of what makes this business venture so appealing is Dog River’s otherwise untapped potential for provision of pharmacy based service, especially when considering the region’s current trend of economic growth.
Dog River Pharmacy will remain at the forefront of all changes to the scope of pharmacy practice. One such example will be administration by pharmacists of annual flu immunizations and other injectable drugs in concurrence with recent legislation that will soon make this a reality. This will also play a role in the planned introduction of travel clinics to Dog River Pharmacy. During these clinics, patients will be given immunizations and counselling on medications as well as other supplies recommended for their designated point of destination.
Currently, many patients make long distance travel for these services. Dog River Pharmacy may step in to fill this demand by offering what our competitors have, with the benefits of locality and personalization. Promotion of these services will occur through various media outlets including the local newspaper, radio, community event sponsoring and the internet with development of Dog River Pharmacy’s own website and increased social media presence.
Second Place: CAARE: Clinical Pharmacist Advice for Aboriginal Residents
Team Members: Darren Bogle, Trista Kobussen, Rachel Martin, Brittani Prete, Madison Schmidt, and Sabrina Tram
Plan Summary: The Saskatchewan population is almost one-sixth Aboriginal peoples, yet the overall approach to improving the quality of Aboriginal healthcare is in its formative stages. The Clinical Pharmacist Advice for Aboriginal REsidents (CAARE) program is geared towards improving access and decreasing barriers in order to offer quality healthcare services to remote Aboriginal communities. Pharmacists can offer a variety of clinical services such as medication assessments, minor ailments prescribing and other prescriptive authority, as well as educational clinics and more.
CAARE will be based out of Madill’s Drugs in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, which is a Rubicon owned pharmacy that operates under the PharmaChoice banner. Madill’s Drugs was chosen because its mission is to be a leader in pharmaceutical and patient-centred care, and treat patients as a whole while advocating for their best interests. Another major reason Madill’s Drugs was chosen is because of their close proximity to a number of Aboriginal communities, which they currently service.
Third Place: HealthMAP: Advancing Patient Care by Helping Pharmacists Optimize Minor Ailment Prescribing
Team Members: Lisa Alport, Shannon Del Bigio, Trevor Kwan, Racquel Miller, Michelle Sutcliffe, and Cara Wirachowsky
Plan Summary: HealthMAP is an application (app) designed to enhance the efficiency of Minor Ailments prescribing (MAP). With a recent shift in the focus of pharmacy practice to cognitive services, this tool has great potential to provide pharmacists, patients, and the healthcare system significant benefits. At this time, cognitive services are labour intensive, time consuming, and not well-recognized by the public -- likely reasons why they are underutilized.
HealthMAP will lead the pharmacist through a series of questions based on MedSask’s Pharmacist Assessment forms and treatment flowcharts for Minor Ailments to confirm a diagnosis and select an appropriate treatment. Pictures will be available to properly identify differential diagnoses and refer patients to a physician if needed. During the process, the patient’s answers will auto-populate into the correct documentation forms. This allows the pharmacist to save the completed form to a secure server or print the form for billing and/or auditing purposes. The entire process will reduce the amount of time spent on MAP for both the pharmacist and patient while eliminating unnecessary paper waste.
The Fourth Annual Pharmasave-Rubicon Pharmacy Student Business Plan Competition was held Wednesday March 26th 2014 in Convocation Hall, in the recently renamed Peter MacKinnon Building, on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon. Judges and sponsors were from: Pharmasave (Central), Rubicon Pharmacies LP, the Pharmacists’ Association of Saskatchewan, and Wiegers Financial & Benefits. The competition was very successful with sponsors wanting to continue to participate on a go forward basis.
Plans this year focused on many aspects of practice, including medical marijuana, mental health medication management, gluten awareness, acne and skin conditions, a proactive service to address drug shortages, and a mobile pharmacy for underserviced areas. While all 15 plans were innovative and unique in their own way, below are the titles, team members, and a short description of the top three teams.
First Place: Battlefords Union Hospital: Central Intravenous Admixture Program
Team Members: Megan Cromarty, Aleta Martens, Tahirih McAleer, Nicole Senger, and Matthew Walliser
Plan Summary: Implementation of a Central Intravenous Admixture (CIVA) program at Battlefords Union Hospital (BUH) located in North Battleford, Saskatchewan will provide high quality, sterile intravenous (IV) preparations for BUH patients. A new clean room was installed in the pharmacy in February of 2013 where IV preparations can be compounded in a United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 compliant environment. The BUH pharmacy currently provides services for compounding of sterile preparations for home IV and other select preparations. However, with the implementation of the CIVA program, all compounding of sterile IV admixtures required for hospital use will be centrally prepared. By having this program centrally located in the pharmacy, batches of commonly used products can be pre-made for quick access, resulting in less product waste.
Decreased risk of patient harm will be the result of higher quality sterile IV products and increased nursing time available for direct patient care. By increasing the quality of care patients receive, the average length of stay in hospital will decrease. The average cost of each day spent in hospital is approximately $1000. For this investment to pay for itself, only one day per week would have to be cut down from overall hospital stays. By increasing the quality of care patients receive this goal is attainable. This project needs to be viewed as an investment in the quality of drugs prepared and the efficiency in which they are prepared, which will, above all, be reflected in the quality of care patients receive.
Second Place: The Medicine Shoppe for Kids
Team Members: Jarred Aasen, Luke Boechler, Jennifer Holmes, Susanna Keller, Melissa Mah, and Bailey Popowich
Plan Summary: The Medicine Shoppe for Kids is a pharmacy that will serve the outpatients of the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS), as well as those of the community and across the province. With no other pharmacies in Saskatchewan currently specializing in pediatrics, The Medicine Shoppe for Kids is an innovative new pharmacy that will fill the need for child-centred medication services. It is located directly within the CHS, to accommodate the hospital’s higher demand for more pediatric pharmacy services. This location also allows for The Medicine Shoppe for Kids to be easily accessible from all parts of Saskatoon, as it is positioned in a central area of the city.
The Medicine Shoppe for Kids will be accessible and convenient for outpatients due to its location and layout. The space and services provided by this pharmacy will be pediatric-specific. These areas include an over-the-counter (OTC) area, a fully functional dispensary, a well-equipped compounding room, and two rooms for private consultations. The Medicine Shoppe for Kids will provide two unique pediatric-specific programs: Custom Meds for Kids and Complex Case Management. Custom Meds for Kids is a program that provides child-specific compounding to ensure pediatric patients can safely and effectively administer their medication. Additionally, Complex Case Management offers several services to improve medication education, confidence, and ease for both the child and his/her family.
Third Place: Healthy Hearts for Life
Team Members: Laura Almas, Amanda Daniels, Ryan Doerksen, Jacey Jones, Nicole Peters, and Andrew Therrien
Plan Summary: The Healthy Hearts for Life pilot program at is a novel enterprise that combines technology with clinical services to revolutionize the role of pharmacists in chronic disease management. The program is a series of cardiovascular disease sessions that will facilitate the uptake of a smartphone app, empowering patients to actively participate in disease treatment and prevention measures while improving overall cardiovascular disease outcomes. The app enables patients to network with other participants, connect with pharmacists and monitor changes in cardiovascular risk factors with the click of a button. The features of the Healthy Hearts for Life app are unique to the proposed clinical program, distinguishing the pharmacy as an industry leader in the use of smartphone technology within community pharmacy practice.
The educational component of the Healthy Hearts for Life program is a series of four cardiovascular wellness sessions that are facilitated by a clinical pharmacist. Each session will focus on a different aspect of cardiovascular disease management. Healthy Hearts for Life is a unique program in that it focuses on using novel, innovative technology to better patient outcomes and expand the role of community pharmacists in chronic disease management. The Healthy Hearts for Life program is a profitable endeavour that exemplifies patient care and promises to distinguish the pharmacy as an industry leader in chronic disease management though the use of smartphone technology.
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: http://globalnews.ca/video/441089/pharmacy-business-plan
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.
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.
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!