Why is there a new programme for educating pharmacy students?
A major review of the five year pharmacist qualification was commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, called the PEARs (Pharmacy Education and Accreditation Reviews) project. This review recommended the introduction of a five year fully integrated pharmacy programme to replace the previous 4+1 model (four year degree followed by one-year in-service practical training). In 2015, SI 377 of 2014 came into effect, legislating for this change. The new programme provides students with experience of patient-facing situations and real-life pharmacy practice at several stages before they attain their qualification. This early practical experience helps students to contextualise their theoretical studies and will provide them with the skills to meet the demands of the ever-changing face of pharmacy in healthcare.