USC Pharmacy Students Head to Finals in National Business Plan Competition

A team of USC pharmacy students was named one of three finalists in a national student business plan competition sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and will compete for a national title in a live competition October 14 in Orlando, Florida.

The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or opening a new pharmacy.

The USC team prepared a detailed business plan for IntegRx Pharmacy, a unique, ultra-modern independent pharmacy concept designed to integrate world-class pharmacy services with a holistic approach to individual and preventative healthcare.

Team advisor Raffi Svadjian, interim executive director of USC Pharmacies, noted that one of the USC team members, Lily Earnest, is a PharmD/MBA student, and others are pursuing USC’s newly-launched area of concentration in pharmacy entrepreneurship.

“USC is strongly committed to independent pharmacy ownership, from the business aspect to pharmacy practice,” said Svadjian, who oversees the operations of USC’s five community pharmacies. “The NCPA business plan competition has been a fantastic hands-on extension of the pharmacy ownership education we provide at USC.”

The students said they look forward to presenting their plan in the live competition October 14  at NCPA’s Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.

“Our team is ecstatic about placing as a finalist,” said Julie Shafer, the 2016-17 co-president of the USC chapter of National Community Pharmacists Association.

The other finalists are teams from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Science. This year’s competition drew submissions from dozens of schools and colleges of pharmacy.

“Our panel of experts were impressed by all the business plans that were submitted this year, but we are especially proud of the three teams of finalists who will give live presentations during the competition at NCPA’s Annual Convention in October,” said NCPA President DeAnn Mullins, Pharmacist, CDE, owner of Mullins Pharmacy, WeCare Wellness and the WeCare Diabetes Education Prorgam in Lynn Haven, Fla. “Best of luck to the pharmacy students from the University of Arkansas, the University of the Pacific and the University of Southern California.”

Team members will compete for first, second, and third place in a live competition. The winners will receive the following awards:

First Place: $3,000 to the NCPA student chapter and $3,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy.

Second Place: $2,000 to the NCPA student chapter and $2,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy.

Third Place: $1,000 to the NCPA student chapter and $1,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy.

The Business Plan Competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession and honors two great champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt Sr. and the late H. Joseph Schutte. The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or opening a new pharmacy.

The competition is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Companies, and the NCPA Foundation.