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Alliance Healthcare Launches the Future of Pharmacy Student Award 2018

Alliance Healthcare Launches the Future of Pharmacy Student Award 2018

"How can community pharmacy use technology to overcome the challenges facing our profession?" The question Mike Smith, Alliance Healthcare Non-Executive Advisor posed at his recent talk to the British Pharmaceutical Student Association (BPSA). Speaking at the Association's annual BPSA Conference on Wednesday 28 March, 2018 at Keele University, this question provided a perfect segue into launching this year's ‘Future of Pharmacy' essay competition assignment. The Alliance Healthcare Award, run in association with the BPSA, offers pharmacy students, pre-registration trainees and recently qualified pharmacists (within the last two years) the chance to enter submissions.

Alliance Healthcare is one of the UK's leading pharmaceutical wholesaler and distributor, and a strong supporter of pharmacy students – the future of pharmacy. The award, now in its eighth year, opened on Wednesday 28 March, 2018 and has a deadline of Friday 15 June, 2018, 5pm. Mike Smith and Chris Martin, another member of the Alliance Healthcare Non-Executive Advisor team will judge the competition entrants and announce the winner by 11 July, 2018. The winner will not only receive the honour of competition winner, but will be awarded a cash prize of £500.

Before officially launching the award, Mike took the opportunity to speak directly to the students on his own experiences gained during his illustrious career spanning over 50 years in community pharmacy. Mike described key career aspects including embarking on a career with no initial professional funding; his partnership with a retiring pharmacist, who he subsequently bought out after five years, to his more recent highlight - receiving honorary life membership of the BPSA, arguably making him the oldest student member in the association.

Leading on to the theme of this year's competition title, Mike discussed how community pharmacy has evolved. He stressed the importance for the continued need to adapt in order to survive, arguably now more than ever, as the economy and pharmacy industry faces uncertainty and challenging times. He continued that "understanding the needs of our customers is not a new concept, but now we really must listen and use whatever support and resources are available to us, as we strive to deliver the best service to our local communities as possible, ensuring patient safety!"

BPSA members embraced the opportunity to question Mike on: "What is the most important thing for pharmacy students to think about?" His response: "You all have to fight to ensure that pharmacy remains an integral part of the medicines supply chain – the relationship between the pharmacist and the patient is sacrosanct."

BPSA members had the opportunity to speak with Mike at the end of the presentation and received the essay competition flyers from the onsite Alliance Healthcare exhibition stand.

Entrants will need to submit essays and the required cover sheet available on the BPSA competition webpage to: awards@alliance-healthcare.co.uk. For further details please visit www.bpsa.co.uk/alliance-healthcare-competitionor visit www.alliance-healthcare.co.uk/latestnews.