Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences solidified its spot as a national leader in the field of community pharmacy and entrepreneurship recently by taking second place in a National Community Pharmacists Association competition.
The Good Neighbor Pharmacy National Community Pharmacists Association’s Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition took place Oct. 23 and required the four Drake students to present a business plan for buying a preexisting community pharmacy or developing a new one.
“If I could open this pharmacy tomorrow I would,” team member Travis Gau said. “It was named after a dog of mine I had, and if I could go to work tomorrow for Striders, I would.”
The hypothetical pharmacy created by the team served as a compounding pharmacy that specialized in human and animal pharmaceutical services. The idea of “Striders Pharmacy” came about after Gau drove across Iowa trying to figure out how to get medicine for his dog, Strider.
The team was named as finalists in July after finishing a 67-page document for their pharmacy plan.
The team then traveled to Philadelphia for the competition and completed a 20-minute presentation that won them second-place in the nation, only being beat out by Washington State University College of Pharmacy.
The team attributes its success to the dedication of its adviser, Renae Chesnut, associate professor of pharmacy practice, along with many others.
“The Drake community really came together for us,” Tori Erxleben said.
“Everything about our plan, from the business description to the legal requirements, insurance, security, marketing plan, all of our finances, everything you need to submit a plan was spot on,” Gau said.
The community and curriculum were helpful to the Drake students.
“The last few years, Drake has really been pushing the entrepreneurial side of pharmacy,” Ryan Nimtz said. “They do a really good job encouraging us to get involved in different aspects of entrepreneurship. They really push the joint degrees, which does a good job separating us from other schools.”
This experience also helped the four Drake students dream of their own futures in the field of community pharmacy.
“This experience let me envision what my ideal practice would be, and someday I hope to model my practice around it and expand to include all my patients–furry and non-furry,” Katie McDonald said.
The team earned its Drake chapter of the National Community Pharmacy Association a financial award.
The student chapter was presented $2,000 and another $2,000 donation went to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences dean’s office. The money will be used to further Drake’s focus on promoting entrepreneurship and community pharmacies.
“This is definitely all about that, it’s about starting your own business and making your own decisions,” Erxleben said.
Winning second place among 35 schools didn’t fully hit the students right away.
“I didn’t realize myself how big of a deal it was until we got back and heard feedback from our professors,” Gau said.
While there, the Drake team became renowned for its impressive performance.
“We even had feedback from people on elevators in the hotel telling us how well we did,” Erxleben said.
Photo: Terri Erxleben