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									                   American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2008; 72 (6) Article 126.

INTERNATIONAL PHARMACY EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT
Introduction to the International Pharmacy Education Supplement
David W. Fielding,a Gayle A. Brazeau,b and Kishor M. Wasana
a
    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver
b
    School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University at Buffalo



     As we enter the second decade of the 21st century,             demic pharmacists. The other contributors to this theme
pharmacy educators worldwide continue to face a number              issue expressed similar concerns.
of pressing issues that threaten the quality of pharmacy                 Differences in how pharmacy students are educated
education at a time when there are limited resources to             were identified. Sosabowski and colleagues4 note that in
address these challenges. While pharmacists have unprec-            order to practice pharmacy in the United Kingdom, a 4-
edented opportunities to expand their roles and responsi-           year master’s degree in pharmacy (MPharm) program,
bilities, this unfortunately is a time when there is a global       followed by a 1-year pre-registration placement must be
shortage of qualified pharmacist to provide patient care.           completed. The authors’ explain that under the Bologna
     This theme issue on international pharmacy educa-              agreement for educational equivalence across Europe, the
tion was developed to provide greater insight into the              MPharm degree is classified as an ‘‘undergraduate mas-
issues, concerns, and challenges facing the world phar-             ter’s program’’ requiring lower qualifications than the
macy education and practice community and how coun-                 traditional master of science (MSc) degree. Recent devel-
tries are addressing them. Representatives from the                 opments in the United Kingdom have led to a shift to an
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Phar-                 integrated 5-year MPharm program. As well, Kheir et al7
macy Education Taskforce (Anderson et al1), Canada                  note that although the curricula of the 5-year baccalaure-
(Austin and Ensom2), China (Yang et al3), Great Britain             ate degree programs generally resemble most western
(Sosabowski et al4), Australia (Marriott et al5), France            accredited programs, the clinical training experiences re-
(Bourdon and Brion6), and the Middle East (Kheir                    quired for graduation among the 13 Middle Eastern
et al7) were asked to comment on aspects of their phar-             schools reviewed was quite variable. Some programs
macy educational system and practice (Table 1). To our              did not have a structured practical experience as a require-
surprise, similar concerns and challenges were expressed            ment for graduation, while others had experiential train-
by all of the authors who were involved in pharmacy                 ing requirements that ranged from 10 to 36 weeks. In
education and practice. Perhaps of greatest concern was             China, Ryan and colleagues note that, presently, the em-
the reoccurring theme of too few pharmacists and inade-             phasis in practice is beginning to shift to clinical phar-
quate means to train greater numbers (Anderson et al).              macy. With this change, additional degree offerings are
With the new demands on pharmacists, educators are                  being developed to meet the growing demand for clinica
								
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