New UI Pharm.D. curriculum emphasizes team learning over lectures
- Professional Engagement: A two-week, one-credit course for first-year Pharm.D. students that begins one week before the fall semester. Sessions include an orientation, professional and self-development classes, patient-screening training, a day of service and mentoring and networking events;
- Aligned Component Course series: Classes will now be organized by disease state and will be team-taught. Having stand-alone courses, such as Pathology (disease causes and their behaviors) and Pharmacology (the uses, effects, and modes of actions of drugs) with one instructor, a particular disease state will be used as the theme to tie former stand-alone subjects together;
- Active learning strategies: Students will be given pre-class assignments that teach them concepts, while in class, they delve more deeply into the material, often in small groups. Students will apply, analyze and evaluate the material with the help of the teacher and their peers;
- Inter-professional education: Pharmacy students will collaborate with fellow health sciences students to learn about other professions and high-functioning health-care teams; and
- Greater ability to specialize — The new program will allow more flexibility for students seeking dual degrees and additional specializations.
Study: Mo. dispensing costs rise to $13 per prescription
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A new study by the University of Missouri-Kansas City and St. Louis College of Pharmacy is finding that dispensing costs at community pharmacies averaged $12.99 per prescription in 2014 — a number that’s far higher than the Mo. Medicaid reimbursement of $4.09 per prescription.
“This is vital data to both pharmacists and policymakers as the future of Medicaid is debated,” said lead author Scott K. Griggs, an assistant professor of pharmacy administration at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “As important decisions are being made about costs and reimbursement, it is necessary to have an accurate assessment of the pharmacies’ actual cost to provide services to Medicaid patients.”
The $12.99 figure is lower than the cost of dispensing for rural pharmacies ($14.50), but slightly higher than that of urban pharmacies ($12.67). It cost independent pharmacies on average more ($13.16) than the average chain pharmacy, whose cost was $12.93. The lower cost for chain pharmacies, according to Griggs, reflects the economy of scale in pharmacies with higher volume. But the average still points to the difficulties all community pharmacies face in recouping the cost of dispensing.
“The study demonstrates that Missouri pharmacies need an average gross margin of $12.99 to break even on prescription sales,” Ken Schafermeyer, professor of pharmacy administration at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, said. “If the dispensing fee is designed to cover all overhead costs plus a reasonable net profit of 3 percent of the average prescription price, it would need to be about $14.91 per prescription. This is based on costs as of October 2014; a dispensing fee set at some time in the future should take any future inflationary pressures into account.”