The current trends in Health Education and patient care have a major influence on pharmacy education, training, and professional practice. As a result, the practice of pharmacy is now evolving from the provision of drug and drug products to patients by dispensing pharmacists, to rendering patient focused pharmaceutical care by pharmacists who now have the skills to improve drug therapy and healthcare outcomes. Such elevated practice has proven to significantly impact the cost and the well being of patients in both the hospital and the ambulatory care settings. Rendering this level of service, however, requires the pharmacy students and trainees to acquire an advanced clinical level of knowledge and skills. The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programs are being implemented in the Kingdom and much around the world meet such elevated demand in practice. This six year curriculum integrates basic, clinical, and research sciences along with advanced clinical training and practice all aimed at improving health outcomes for patients.
The Rationale for Establishing a College of Pharmacy at NGHA, KSAU-HS:
The rapid growth of the population in Saudi Arabia coupled by an acute shortage of healthcare practitioners particularly pharmacists and the pressing need to improve health care outcomes present another challenge to educators and those in charge of training pharmacy graduates. According to a recent report by the Saudi Manpower Council, current practicing pharmacists in the Kingdom meet the need of only 11% of its population. Further, the report estimates that 17,000 new pharmacy graduates will be needed to meet the need of the growing Saudi population over the next 15 years.
In upholding the educational mission of the King Saud Bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS) and in response to the pressing national needs, the college of Pharmacy at KSAU-HS was established.