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Pharmacy student team earns berth among top three

A team of four Washington State University pharmacy students is among the top three finalists in a national business plan competition sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

All three winning teams will advance to a final round of competition in Las Vegas in October, where the students will present their business plans in person to a panel of judges.

In an 89-page plan, the WSU students are proposing to create the Apple A Day pharmacy in Pullman by buying what is now Sid’s Professional Pharmacy.

The students received help from several working pharmacists, including the owner of Sid’s, who shared real numbers with them, said Linda Garrelts MacLean, the team’s faculty advisor.

The competition has grown since its first year in 2004, when a WSU team placed second among 16 teams and won $4,000. This year the judges reviewed 30 plans from schools all over the country. The three finalists were announced at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in San Diego, July 8-12.

The other two finalists are teams from the University of Kentucky and the University of Houston. A team from the University of Washington placed 8th.

The students on the WSU team are all first-year students from the Class of 2009. They are Daniela Beilic, Jason Doss, Joshua Fancher and Corinne Gavrun.

The corporate strategy of the students’ Apple-A-Day pharmacy includes this vision: “To expand the business product lines, with a focus on health care, to serve students, professionals and the general population. To do what chains don’t do and focus on the unique communities we serve. We’re in business to solve problems.”

The goal of the competition is to promote interest in independent community pharmacy ownership.

Winner of the competition will receive $3,000 for their College, $3,000 for their student organization, and an expense-paid trip to an NCPA conference for team members, their advisor and their College Dean.

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