Two pharmacy schools develop partnerships to expand their reach and enhance students’ experiences.
Many graduate students who attend The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences come from the Middle East or other parts of the world. As such, expanding the college’s presence and recruitment efforts beyond U.S. borders increases enrollment in graduate programs and allows the college to reconnect with alumni. In late 2012, Dr. Johnnie L. Early II, dean of the college, along with Drs. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Sharrel Pinto and Youssef Sari, traveled to the Middle East to create and support some of the college’s educational and research partnerships. They visited Al-Zaytoonah University in Jordan and Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Specialists Hospital and Research Centre.
The college’s relationship with Al-Zaytoonah University, a private institution in the capital city of Amman, Jordan, extends back 10 years and includes the exchange of ideas and knowledge that have strengthened pharmacy practice in Jordan and enhanced research in the United States. The partnership attracts students who are interested in graduate studies in the basic sciences.
Al-Zaytoonah University and the UT college of pharmacy co-sponsored a conference in Jordan at which Early gave the keynote address. Bryant-Friedrich, associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, presented her research on chemical toxicology and the etiology of cancer, while Pinto, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and research director for the Pharmaceutical Care and Outcomes Research Lab, spoke about the impact that practicing pharmacists can have on improving patient care and outcomes. Sari, assistant professor of pharmacology, presented his research on the treatment of alcoholism and neurodegenerative diseases.
Additionally, a new Memorandum of Understanding between the college and the King Faisal Specialists Hospital and Research Centre in Saudi Arabia allows Doctor of Pharmacy students to complete rotations at the institution. King Faisal is home to the first and only ASHP-accredited PGY1 residency program outside the United States, creating a unique opportunity for graduates who wish to practice abroad. The state-of-the-art hospital facilities and government support allow the institution to adopt a patient-centered medical home model.
The University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy partnered with Brazilian generic pharmaceutical company Prati-Donaduzzi to provide student rotations in Brazil. The collaboration involves two American entities—H-E-B supermarkets and UIW—and two Brazilian organizations—Prati-Donaduzzi and the Catholic faith-based university Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana.
The partnership with Prati-Donaduzzi will provide eight fourth-year student pharmacists with a fully paid six-week industrial rotation, bridging education and its application to comparative drug development with a global perspective. As part of this rotation, UIW students are enrolled in a concurrent course alongside Pontificia Universidade students and Prati-Donaduzzi regulatory affairs professionals. This course explores the harmonization of international regulatory affairs between the FDA and the Brazilian regulatory agency ANVISA. Students work in teams and those who complete the course receive a certificate of completion.
According to Dr. Eli G. Phillips, assistant professor at the UIW Feik School of Pharmacy, the program is unique because it involves this type of public/private collaboration to provide real-life practical and educational experiences pertaining to pharmaceutical regulation and the practice of pharmacy. One of the program’s goals is to foster regulatory professionals who are able to transcend international regulation to improve the quality of and access to healthcare.
“UIW is embracing globalization by bringing together Brazilian and American students. These students will tackle the real-world needs of private organizations that need employees who can maneuver through complex regulations in both countries and develop solutions to product registration in Brazil and in the U.S.,” said Dr. Marcos A. Oliveira, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the UIW Feik School of Pharmacy. The eight Brazilian students will receive complementary experiences in the United States. Going forward, it is expected that this rotation will be offered to 12 UIW students per year.