The next big pharmacy school
Pharmacy school students in the Netherlands will be able to earn a pharmacy degree next year, a move that would mean the Dutch government is giving up on its “one size fits all” model of education for all Dutch students.
The Dutch Ministry of Education and Science has announced that it will invest €6 million in the Dutch Pharmacy Institute of Technology (NPTIT) to establish a new “clinical education” programme.
The NPTIT will also be able offer a degree in pharmacy and healthcare sciences to more than 500 students, with the aim of providing students with the necessary skills to be eligible for future jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.
“It is really about the students, not about the industry,” said NPTIST president Kees Lijken.
“The Dutch government has recognised the importance of the sector, and we want to make sure the industry can thrive.”
The Netherlands has one of the highest concentrations of pharmacists in the world, accounting for about one third of all pharmacists worldwide.
But it’s difficult to find a pharmacy course anywhere else in the developed world, and with the shortage of pharmacist training, it’s becoming harder to find jobs in some sectors.NPTIST hopes to address this by offering courses in a range of disciplines including pharmacy and medical technology, including robotics, robotics and 3D printing.
“We have a number of students that are interested in joining the industry, and in the next few years, we will have a programme that will give them a chance to be pharmacists,” Lijkens said.
In a recent report, the European Commission said the Netherlands is a “leading candidate for the European pharma industry”.
The Netherlands’ success story has inspired many other countries around the world to establish similar education programmes.
The Netherlands is currently home to around 30,000 pharmacists, who account for a third of the country’s pharmacists.
“I hope that there is more interest from the Dutch people and industry, as well as the Dutch authorities to invest in this sector,” Ljken said.