UC Irvine is adding a new school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences that will be the first such school in the Southland, university officials announced Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to launch the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as the next step in UCI’s bold reimagining of health care, one that shifts the focus of patient care from treating ailments to preventing them,” Chancellor Howard Gillman said. “Infused with that spirit, the school will concentrate on the whole patient, spanning the continuum from drug discovery to clinical practice.”

The school, part of the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, comprises the existing Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the new Department of Clinical Pharmacy Practice.

The addition was approved by UC regents on July 30. It will be the third such school in the UC system and California’s first new public pharmacy school in nearly two decades.

A new doctorate program will begin enrolling students in fall 2021 with the goal of producing practice-ready pharmacists to be medication experts on health care teams and problem solvers to lead progressive change in the health care system, according to UCI.

Founding Dean Jan Hirsch, a professor of clinical pharmacy, said the school “will provide innovative, integrative, learner-centered education; cutting-edge pharmaceutical and biomedical research; and national leadership in interprofessional, patient-centered health care. We will educate pharmaceutical scientists and clinical pharmacists who will be integral to discovering and implementing new solutions to optimize medication usage, patient outcomes and cost-effective health care.”

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