Proposed UT Tyler pharmacy school could help more than just stud - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Proposed UT Tyler pharmacy school could help more than just students

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

UT Tyler announced Wednesday a bill to authorize the creation of a pharmacy school has passed the Texas Senate and House. The bill now goes to Governor Rick Perry. If Perry signs the bill, the UT Board of Regents will give final approval for the school.

UT Tyler President Doctor Rod Mabry says local business leaders brought his 13 year pharmacy school dream to life, "We began in earnest last summer as a result of business people who really did come to us and say that they need to be able to have a greater supply for pharmacists."

"Any time you can get professional school into your community, you're going to increase the education level in the area. Long-term, I think it will be a great thing for us," says Jeffrey Abeldt, owner and pharmacist at Brick Street Pharmacy.

Abeldt says the demand for pharmacists is increasing, "It seems like there's just more and more prescriptions being filled every year and so, as a result, you're going to have to have more pharmacists to oversee the process."

"This will provide a stable, high income set of jobs for students, an opportunity for East Texans to prepare to really fill some important positions," Dr. Mabry says.

He believes there are several reasons East Texas needs a pharmacy school. Some of those reasons include accounting for the number of aging baby boomers and the increase in people covered under the Affordable Care Act.

"Ten to 15 PhDs will have to move into the community that are specialized in pharmacology or toxicology," Abeldt says, "It will be another huge impact. Even the police department would be able to use in some of their forensics type things."

Pharmacy school students would even intern for Abeldt. He says he's looking forward to it.

Dr. Mabry says the pharmacy school will be self-supporting. That means the school will receive no state funding. He says there will not be any cross subsidy from other parts of the university. Tuition and philanthropy is how Dr. Mabry says the school will be funded.

Governor Rick Perry has until next month to sign the bill. UT Tyler hopes to be an accredited pharmacy school by Fall 2015. 

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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