NCPA-Pacific Places Second in Business Plan Competition

NCPA-Pacific business plan team members celebrate with Dr. Ed Sherman, faculty advisor, at the convention.

Feb 5, 2014
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Pacific's National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) took home second place in the Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. The purpose of this competition is to promote interest in independent pharmacy ownership.

"To be recognized as one of the top three teams made all of the hard work worth it in the end and more importantly, it helped us become more determined to open our own independent businesses in the future," said John Chu '14, one of four team members that represented Pacific at the meeting in Orlando.

In preparation for the competition, the team, made of Chu, Akram AbouKhalil '14, Xin Fang '14 and Pedram Gabayan '14, met often to create their presentation. Chu stated that writing the business plan didn't require much coordination when compared to the presentation. "The presentation was done by numerous nights on webcams crafting the exact wording of our presentation as well as meeting up at School during rotations to practice in front of a mock audience."

Dr. Ed Sherman, faculty advisor, was instrumental in helping the team make it to the final round. "He encouraged us to be professional presenters which helped set the stage for us to create a polished and fluid presentation without stuttering or relying on our slides," said Chu.

Their business plan laid out the foundation for the purchase of an existing pharmacy that failed due to mismanagement. In order for the pharmacy to regain its place in the market and be profitable the team will offer new services such as travel medicine, a wide range of immunizations, compounding cosmetics and hormone replacement therapy. "Once the pharmacy is stable, we would also introduce clinical services to take advantage of the exciting new bill, Senate Bill (SB) 493, which just passed in California," said Chu.

SB-493 allows pharmacists to provide expanded patient care services in collaboration with physicians and other members of the health care team and was passed on October 1, 2013 by Governor Brown.

Chu developed interest in independent business at an early age having two grandparents who were successful businessmen. He favors having his own private company because of the "freedom to take ownership, express yourself and if done well, profit can be nice too."

From the competition, Chu was able to gain insights on how to "tailor products and services to your target population, new ideas for your business, and how important a good mentor is." Chu would highly recommend students to take interest in NCPA and participate in the competition to learn more about independent pharmacy, issues and challenges that may rise and the competition in the industry.

Last year, Pacific-NCPA was also named runner-up in the competition. In 2011, they were recognized as a top-ten finalist.

about the author

Dua Moua   Dua Moua '09 is the Marketing Communications Assistant at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Pacific.