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A new pharmacy ownership residency at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy will teach residents innovative and entrepreneurial techniques to be pharmacy owners in an evolving health-care market.

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, in partnership with the National Community Pharmacists Association and Mutual Drug Company, has created a pharmacy residency program for new graduates interested in becoming independent community pharmacy owners.

Beginning in the 2016–2017 academic year, the 12-month Independent Pharmacy Ownership Residency will place recent doctor of pharmacy graduates at one of two independently owned community pharmacies in North Carolina: Drugco Discount Pharmacy in Roanoke Rapids and Central Pharmacy in Durham.

“The independent pharmacy ownership residency program will teach residents innovative and entrepreneurial techniques to be pharmacy owners in an evolving health-care market,” said Stefanie Ferreri, Pharm.D., residency program director and a clinical associate professor at the School. “They will get the skills, confidence and experience needed to create a viable business model for community pharmacies of the future.”

The practice sites are provided by NCPA members, and residents will also have the chance to spend time at NCPA headquarters, attend NCPA meetings and write for the association’s monthly magazine, America’s Pharmacist.

“NCPA has long been dedicated to the cultivating the next generation of independent community pharmacy owners through a variety of pharmacy student programs,” said Bradley J. Arthur, NCPA president and co-owner of BlackRock Pharmacy and Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy in Buffalo, New York. “The independent pharmacy ownership residency on which we are collaborating with UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Mutual Drug is an exciting opportunity to ensure these budding entrepreneurs are successful in the challenging and ever-evolving health-care marketplace.”

The residents will spend time at Mutual Drug Company, the primary wholesaler for the practice sites and a cosponsor for the residency. Mutual Drug is a cooperative independent wholesaler located in Durham and is one of the largest single-source wholesalers in the nation. At Mutual Drug, residents will learn about legislative advocacy, attend board meetings and become familiar with the relationship between wholesaler and independent community pharmacies.

“Mutual Drug is committed to growing independent pharmacy in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as additional states in the near future,” said Jenna Huggins, director of clinical programs for Mutual Drug. “This residency is an ideal program to bridge the readiness gap for new practitioners interested in pharmacy ownership that we see in the marketplace today. Those that complete this residency will be equipped with the knowledge to effectively grow and operate an independent pharmacy business and hopefully expand the Mutual footprint.”

Residents will be fully integrated members of the team at the residency site and will learn firsthand what works and what areas could be improved in a community pharmacy. They will partner with experienced practitioners to initiate new programs, expand and enhance existing services, and provide fresh perspectives and insights for the site staff.

“Our residency partners are all leaders in North Carolina pharmacy. They all have multiple locations, strive to offer innovative services to patients in their community and are all committed to building what we believe will be a new model of pharmacy education that we plan to extend to additional stores both inside and outside North Carolina,” Ferreri said.

The application deadline for the independent pharmacy ownership residency is January 1. Candidates must hold a Pharm.D. and be eligible for licensure to practice in North Carolina. For more information or to apply, contact Stefanie Ferreri at

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is an internationally recognized leader in pharmacy practice, education, and research. We develop leaders in pharmacy education, pharmacy practice, and pharmaceutical sciences who make a difference on human health worldwide. The School offers opportunities in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences that are simply not available anywhere else. Learn more at

The National Community Pharmacists Association represents the interests of America’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $81.4 billion health-care marketplace and employ more than 314,000 individuals on a full or part-time basis. To learn more, go to, visit or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.

Mutual Wholesale Drug Company’s focus on independent pharmacies has allowed it to become one of the top regional pharmaceutical wholesalers in the country today. Mutual Drug was formed as a cooperative in 1952 with 43 members for the purpose of providing competitive prices on merchandise and services critical to independent pharmacies. As a cooperative, members benefit from both buying from themselves and having all profits returned to them as patronage rebates. Now, Mutual Drug is a billion dollar company that thrives by servicing over 575 members in three states under that same cooperative model.

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