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Don Davidson (left), Dean Raylene Rospond (center) and President David Maxwell (right) celebrate the lab at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
New technology enhances lab for pharmacy students 

The transition from classroom to work force will be easier for Drake University pharmacy graduates thanks to a number of up-to-date resources in the Donald F. Davidson Pharmacy Practice Laboratory in Fitch Hall. 

In 2007, Drake Trustee and College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences alumnus Don Davidson made a $300,000 gift to renovate the lab that was named in his honor in 1997. 

The lab is newly equipped with state-of-the art laboratory space and technology to ensure students are learning and working with resources they will utilize in their future careers.

Students benefit from state-of-the-art technology and tools 

The lab offers students the opportunity to work with resources that are available in retail pharmacy settings such as those at Walgreens, Dahl’s and Medicap, among others.

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Students practice in a setting similar to those found in retail pharmacies.
“This environment is the same as real-life pharmacies — the same equipment, software and process — eliminating the worries about technology and allowing the students to focus on patient care,” said Heidi Price, instructor of pharmacy practice, who instructs students at all levels in the lab. 

A six-semester pharmacy skills and applications course allows students in Drake’s Doctor of Pharmacy program to work in the lab throughout the three-year program. 

“Students who haven’t even touched the lab or software before can learn to fill prescriptions in just 10 minutes,” Price added. “Each of the new tools will allow students to focus more time on patient care.”

The lab also has four flat screen TVs, computers with video recording and playback functions for critiquing sessions, signature pads and vitals equipment for checking blood pressure and temperature.

In addition to the gift from Don Davidson, Walgreens, Inc. contributed to the space by providing support for the creation of an over-the-counter pharmacy within the laboratory. The addition of non-prescription medications will enable students to learn about drug interactions and non-prescription drug counseling. 

Contributions enhance students’ experience

Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences secured additional contributions to support equipping the lab with the latest technology. 

Parata Systems Inc. made an in-kind contribution toward the purchase of a Parata Max automated dispensing unit. Currently one of only three in Iowa, this unit will provide students the opportunity to work with automated technology alongside traditional dispensing techniques, as they would in many retail pharmacy environments. 

The college also received an in-kind gift from PDX to install pharmacy management software in the laboratory. This software, found in many pharmacies, will allow students to learn about pharmacy workflow management, check for drug interactions while filling prescriptions and file practice insurance claims. 

A celebration honored generous donors

Drake recently recognized Davidson and other contributors that made the new laboratory space possible a special lab dedication ceremony on April 23.

For more information on the event or gifts, contact Emily Hamilton at emily.hamilton@drake.edu.