PHARMACY students wishing to work in the United States will now have to take a five-year academic program meeting US standards.

The Faculty of Pharmacy will offer an optional five-year program to its freshmen consistent with the US Pharmacy’s five-year curriculum. The program will include subjects like Drug and Disease Management I and Immunology in the fourth year, and Drug and Disease Management III, Adverse Drug Reactions, Clinical Pharmacy II, Radiopharmacy, Patient Medication Assessment, and a six-month Clerkship in the fifth year.

“Pharmacy graduates of the four-year Pharmacy program prior to January 1, 2003 will be allowed to take the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE),” Pharmacy Dean Priscilla Torres s aid. “But graduates after that must undergo a five-year program to be able to take the FPGEE.”

The FPGEE is an exam which qualifies applicants to take the State Board of Pharmacy licensure exam in the U.S. Since April 14, Pharmacy students who are pl anning to work in the US are required by the US Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) to finish a five-year program. The US National Association of Boards of Pharmacy responsible for the FPGEC Certification Program mandated the policy to halt the continuous increase of Pharmacy applicants coming from abroad.

However, Torres pointed out that not all students will be allowed to take the five-year Pharmacy program unless they pass the qualifying exams to be given by the faculty before they reach their senior year.

“We pushed for the five-year program because some of the graduates would like to go and try their luck in the US,” Torres said. “But they must pass the qualifying exam first.”

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Pharmacy graduates from 2003 to 2008 who plan to work in the US must to wait until 2009 when the present freshmen reach their fourth year and the fifth year level will be available. As of now, these graduates can choose to work in the country or abroad other than the US.

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