After 11 years, the only pharmacy school in Vermont is closing in June 2021. The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Vermont made the decision to close its campus because of the decrease in enrollment.
They are making sure the 1,300 students have the resources they need to complete their requirements and graduate on time. Regional Dean Jennifer Mathews said there’s a decline in enrolment in pharmacies across the country.
“If you look at the enrollment in pharmacy schools, we are seeing a nationwide trend that there is an decrease in enrollment, I think branch campuses and smaller campuses tend to be impacted more significantly any time you see a decline,” Mathews said.
Just because there is a decrease in enrolment, Mathews said this doesn’t mean there is less of a need for pharmacists.
“Pharmacists play such an important role whether that be in a community, in a community pharmacy, at those ambulatory care settings, within the hospitals as clinical pharmacists, their role is needed more than ever,” Mathews said.
Mathews said pharmacists are a key component in making sure Vermonters have access to vaccines like the flu shot. She anticipates at some point in the spring there will be a COVID-19 vaccine available.
“Pharmacists will be a key part of that too in making sure the people access and are able to get the vaccination,” Mathews said.
General Counsel at the Board of Pharmacy, Gabriel Gilman said over the years they have relied on ACPHS and its affiliates for local expertise.
“They were experts and they are experts that we could call on when we had a significant question about what’s good for the state of Vermont and what’s good for people in Vermont, what would make good public health policy,” Gilman said.
Gilman said the pandemic has put a lot of stress on pharmacists and the entire health system.
“It’s definitely a much more challenging time to be a pharmacist, but I don’t know if the pandemic has meant that we need more of them instantly,” Gilman said.
The New York campus is going to continue to actively recruit students who are here in Vermont that want to consider pharmacy as a profession.