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CVS fulfils commitment to Howard, presents $300,000 check


WASHINGTON Thursday, CVS Caremark finally completed an agreement it made with Howard University almost five years ago, when it presented the university with a $300,000 check for the university's new Pharmacy Practice Laboratory.

The new lab is still a work in progress; faculty stated during the ribbon-cutting ceremony that there are still a few minor details that need to be finished before the fall semester starts on Aug. 25, but overall everyone was pleased with the outcome. “The lab was outdated, but this new one will help prepare pharmacy students for the current state of pharmacy,” said Beatrice Adderley-Kelly, dean and professor of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Services. For example upon walking into the lab, immediately to the right is a door that leads into the compounding room, where students will learn how to compound creams and capsules for unique prescriptions. The room is still under construction, however, and the university could not make it available for tours.

Also, at the far end of the lab is something the faculty seemed really excited about, a separate room to use for practicing Medication Therapy Management. The room has an area for a bed, which is on its way according to the school, a table for further counseling and two closed areas that will be used as offices for the pharmacists. Interim Associate Dean Clarence Curry was happy that pharmacists would have the opportunity to practice MTM at the school in the classroom setting as it is such a vital important to the job of a pharmacist.

According to CVS’ vice president of pharmacy professional services Papatya Tankut, “the lab is structured for today’s pharmacy environment.” Gordon Howard, CVS’ area vice president for Washington, D.C., added that, “It’s designed to give the student a real-life pharmacy practice.” Nnenna Okeke, a recent graduate and a CVS employee stated that there is a huge difference between the old lab and new one. “It’s more spacious and equipped said Okeke. She continued by noting that, “The old lab didn’t have enough room to hold all the drugs on its shelves. Now, the students will have access to all the drugs and pharmacy products in an updated setting.”

Hopefully this new lab will make the School of Pharmacy more prestigious than it already is. Back when Okeke started school, there were about 1,000 applications submitted for the program with only 100 acceptances. Now, the school has received about 1,500 applications for only 75 spots. While the 75 acceptances is a drop, it’s a number that with how the pharmacy program is set-up now, perfect for the faculty and for the students, according to Dean Kelly.

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