The School of Pharmacy’s new $3 million building extension is open and ready to offer world-class facilities.
Vice-Chancellor Daryl Le Grew said the pharmacy school was renowned for the quality of its program and graduates, and had strong growth in student applications locally, nationally and internationally.
"Students will have access to world-class facilities in order to develop their professional practice skills, ensuring our graduates remain at the cutting edge of their profession" he said.
"The school already enjoys strong links with the profession, and our graduates make a major contribution to ensuring the future workforce requirements in pharmacy are met both in Tasmania and beyond".
Health Minister Lara Giddings opened the building at a ceremony attended by many from the pharmacy profession on Saturday, 14 June.
University of South Australia Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom gave an address on the future of pharmacy education.
The striking three storey building includes offices and a $75,000 fit-out of computers funded by.
Dr Stephen Aldous, Head of the School of Pharmacy welcomed guests to this significant day for the School of Pharmacy. He stated that Tasmania had a long history of education and training of pharmacists and the first formal and continuous training and registration process for pharmacists in Australia can be traced back to Tasmania in 1837.
The School's involvement with UTAS commenced in 1952 with teaching in pharmacy controlled by the Pharmacy Board of Tasmania, but undertaken by several organisation, including the University. From 1972 to 1977 pharmacy education in Tasmania was undertaken at the TCAE, and as a result of the Karmel Report into Higher Education, responsibility for the School was transferred to the University and the School was relocated to the present site in 1980.
The School of Pharmacy plays a significant role in providing the workforce to supply high-quality pharmaceutical health care to Tasmanians in both the government (hospital pharmacy) and private (community pharmacy) sectors, with local graduates filling more than 80% of the pharmacists positions in the state.
As is the case with all other health-care professionals, the demand for pharmacists will continue to increase as the population ages more patients will be treated for more disease states with more drugs with a concomitant increase in the known risks of poly-pharmacy. Issues related to expanded roles for pharmacists in health care delivery are also under consideration in many instances (eg point-of-care anticoagulant monitoring, pharmacist prescribing) and the School will need to be in a position to respond to these potential new roles.
The School has undergone continuous growth at UTAS over more than two decades and enjoys continued strong demand for places in its program from well-qualified local, interstate and international students. It enjoys a national reputation for the quality of its program and the ready-for practice capabilities of its graduates. It has also considerably expanded its research activities, particularly through the highly successful UMORE group (Unit for Medication Outcomes Research and Education) and in the potential medical uses of natural products derived from Tasmanian species.
UTAS has indicated its confidence in the future of the School by providing expanded facilities that will;
Pharmacy as a profession has almost completely evolved from the traditional compounding role, so that it is now very much an information-based profession, as reflected by the presence of a computer at each student place in the new professional practice teaching rooms. The new facilities will also free up time in the existing, more traditional style teaching laboratories that will continue to play a necessary and important role in preserving the scientific skills and knowledge base underpinning the preparation and use of pharmaceuticals.
The School thanks Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL) through its National Chair, Mr John Coppock. PDL has been a generous supporter of the School over many years and this has continued with a significant contribution towards the cost of equipping teaching rooms with computer facilities.
Authorised by the Associate Head, Pharmacy
22 September, 2014