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$25-million funding the largest-ever for pharmacy facility


Edmonton, AB – Edmonton-based Katz Group and Alberta’s provincial government say they are each contributing $7 million to the University of Alberta. The $14 million investment – said to be the largest ever one-time gift to a Canadian pharmacy school – will be used to support important new educational initiatives in the Faculties of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Law.

The Katz Group, owners of drug store chains Rexall, Medicine Shoppe, Pharma Plus and Guardian IDA, has also committed to help the university raise an additional $5.5 million from pharmaceutical and related industries. The provincial government has agreed to match those monies as well, for a potential total investment of $25 million.

When fully funded, $12.5 million will be used to support capital costs of construction, $10.5 will be used to support state-of-the-art educational and research programs for pharmacy students and faculty, and $2 million will be used to fund a joint Pharmacy-Law chair in health law research.

“The funding will be used to support the development of model pharmacies that will establish and support the total pharmacy care concept,” says Franco Pasutto, dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “We want to be in the forefront of establishing a new standard for pharmacy practice, as pharmacists begin to play a more prominent role in primary health care.”

When it opens in phases starting in fall 2007, the $250-million building will give the university much-needed space to expand its health sciences research and educational activities in the heart of Edmonton’s emerging health sciences district.

“These new facilities further position Edmonton as one of North America’s leading centres for interdisciplinary health sciences research” says Dr Tom Marrie, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

Major research units scheduled to be in the new building include pharmaceutical sciences, cardiovascular translational research, gastrointestinal inflammation research, spinal cord research and viral hepatitis research.