This time it's Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Fort Myers is in the early stages of researching a pharmacy school.
During a recent roundtable discussion, FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw told several state senators that the university is considering starting both dentistry and pharmacy schools. FGCU estimates it will take $85 million to start both programs.
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Mitchell CordovaIn justifying the need for both schools, FGCU issued a six-page report that cites an increased need for dentists and pharmacists nationally, and in Florida through 2022. The report also identifies limited opportunities for students to gain pharmacy degrees within the state’s university system.
“In Florida, we feel there is going to be an expanded need for pharmacists throughout the state,” Mitchell Cordova, dean of FGCU’s College of Health Professions and Social Work told Drug Topics.
Cordova said FGCU’s next step would be pursuing funding from Florida legislators. “We are really in the feasibility or concept stage,” he said.
According to the report, the average starting salary for pharmacists in Florida is $116,110, and there is a projected need of approximately 830 pharmacists per year through 2022.
“Successful and sustainable careers for our graduates with high paying jobs, while establishing national models for more accessible care and improved health with decreased treatment costs for individuals, families, and employers can be achieved,” the report stated. â¨
The two schools would be housed in a 60,000 square-foot building yet to be constructed. FGCU would also build a community clinic to house classrooms, laboratory space, and a research complex.
In March, Larkin Health Sciences Institute College of Pharmacy in Miami accepted its first 30 students. Classes at Larkin are scheduled to begin in August. The university is expecting 80 to 100 students this year, but would eventually have class sizes of 120 students.
Larkin, a private, nonprofit school, will grant students a four-year PharmD degree in a three-year period. It would be the first year-round, three-year block program in Florida.
Recent reports have identified an oversupply of pharmacists in both the Midwest and the Northeast. However, those same reports indicate a need in the West and the South. In January, 17 states and the District of Columbia had an oversupply of pharmacists.
See also: Where do pharmacists earn the most?