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Featured News JCU Pharmacy is growing

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Tue, 4 Aug 2020

JCU Pharmacy is growing

students in chemistry class

Budding pharmacists will be able to study in Cairns and Mackay from next year, with James Cook University expanding its Pharmacy program.

“Where previously students had to relocate to Townsville to study the Bachelor of Pharmacy on campus, from next year they will be able to choose from three locations,” Head of JCU Pharmacy, Associate Professor John Smithson, said.

The course will be taught through a mix of online and on-campus sessions.

“Flexible delivery means everyone, from school leavers to those planning a career change while balancing work and family, will be able to complete this degree in Mackay and Cairns,” Associate Professor Smithson said.

“This is a big step forward for the profession, making it possible to train pharmacists in the regions that need them most.”

Cairns pharmacist Nick Loukas, Chair of JCU’s Pharmacy Advisory Committee, said Pharmacy’s expansion opens more doors for those wanting to stay in the region.

“This new offering means we can grow our own pharmacy professionals to help fill the shortages,” Mr Loukas said. “There are many opportunities for graduate pharmacists in our region and with the extended scope of practice now available, it’s a rewarding career.”

Mackay pharmacist and director of Northside Chemist David Aprile has welcomed the initiative and anticipated boost for the future of the pharmacy workforce in Mackay.

“Attracting pharmacists or indeed allied health workers in general to this region has always been a challenge,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the reality of that shortfall and demonstrated the real need for an increased pharmacist workforce to meet the demand going forward.”

Associate Professor Smithson said pharmacy is a diverse career that plays an important part in keeping communities healthy.

“There are so many things you can do, from community pharmacy – educating and advising people on their medications, performing vaccinations and health checks – to hospital pharmacy, cancer specialists, Defence Force pharmacy and even medicines development and research,” he said.

“If you have an interest in health and a passion for helping people, a pharmacy career could be for you.”

Find out more about studying Pharmacy with JCU at jcu.edu.au/studypharmacy