In 2014, the School commenced arrangements to replace the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree programme with Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). This is to keep abreast with global best practices, comply with policies of the Pharmacy Council of Ghana and raise the standard of practice.
GlaxoSmithKline Services Limited (GSK) has provided funding to the tune of One Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds (£100,000) to support the development of the Pharm.D programme and ensure its smooth implementation at the University.
With the GSK funding support, the School has organised workshops towards implementation of the programme. A first workshop, held from 13th to 14th March 2018, enabled Faculty of the School to critically review the proposed Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum, and brought on board input from stakeholders to ensure that all course content and descriptions were apt and concise with clear aims, objectives and learning outcomes.
The GSK sponsorship further supported a second workshop from 15th to 16th March 2018, which brought together Faculty, Preceptors and other key stakeholders to provide needed input for the design and implementation of the School’s experiential learning.
Experiential learning, comprising Introductory Professional Practice and Advanced Professional Practice Experiences (PPEs), is an essential component of the Doctor of Pharmacy Programme. The PPEs allow pharmacy students to undergo “apprenticeship” in various settings such as hospital pharmacies, community pharmacies, industry, regulatory and academic environments. They give the pharmacy student an early opportunity to have real-time, hands-on experiences under the supervision of Preceptors who are licensed pharmacists and recognized as experts practicing in hospitals, community pharmacies, regulatory agencies and academic institutions to make the SoP Pharm.D. training worthwhile.
The stakeholders’ workshops have since helped the School to streamline the PPE pathways, develop and standardize learning outcomes for the various experiential learning, and provide the needed material for compilation of a Manual on Experiential Learning (MEL) to guide both students and preceptors. Plans are underway to organize a third workshop after the policies and guidelines for the experiential learning have been put in place. This is aimed at building capacity of preceptors from the various settings to enable them appreciate the content of the experiential training, their role as trainers, and the expectations of a Preceptors.
The GSK funding supported key officers of SoP to visit the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, a partner academic institution in the USA in August 2018 to understudy their Pharm.D. Programme and understand its structure and operationalization.
The University has been granted accreditation by the National Accreditation Board and the Pharmacy Council and thus, commenced the Pharm.D. Programme in September 2018.
The University expresses profound gratitude to GSK for its magnanimity in funding the design and implementation of the Doctor of Pharmacy Programme as well as all stakeholders who made input towards enriching the Programme.