Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Receives Affirmation of Accreditation

PULLMAN, Wash. — Full accreditation for Washington State University’s new Doctor of
Pharmacy (Pharm D.) degree program has recently been affirmed by the American Council on
Pharmaceutical Education.
In 1995, in keeping with trends in the profession, WSU’s College of Pharmacy changed from
offering a bachelor of pharmacy (B. Pharm.) program to the Pharm D. as the entry level degree for
practicing pharmacists. The accrediting body granted full accreditation in 1996, but requested an
interim review in early 1999. That review has now been completed.
Dennis Clifton, interim pharmacy dean, says training needs have become far more
demanding for today’s pharmacists.
“They play a much greater role in managing drug therapy and managing outcomes related to
that therapy. As a result pharmacists need higher level, more clinical training to be effective care
providers,” he said.
Students entering the program must now complete two years of pre-pharmacy studies and,
upon acceptance, three years of academic pharmacy training plus 42 weeks of advanced
professional experience in the field.
Pharm D. graduates will find work in a very demanding and rewarding profession, says
Clifton. “It’s a job where you have a very significant impact on the health of people.”
He points out that pharmacists are increasingly involved in preventing and treating adverse
drug reactions and drug interaction. He says those “drug misadventures” are a leading cause of
mortality and cost taxpayers billions of dollars a year. Pharmacists in Washington, working in
collaboration with physicians, have authority to prescribe medications and are often involved in
therapy choices for acute and chronic diseases.
Clifton notes that Pharm D. graduates can expect to find good jobs very quickly since there
is currently a great demand for pharmacists in the workplace.
College of Pharmacy students take classes on the Pullman campus and perform much of their
experiential activity in Spokane, Yakima, Pullman and Seattle. Experiential studies take place at a
variety of locations including retail pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, home health care and other
professional settings.
For more information, call the pharmacy college at 509/335-4750.