Clinical pharmacy curriculum development in Norway: Pharmacists’ expectations in the context of current European developments


  • T. Loennechen Institute of Pharmacy, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
  • R. Lind Institute of Pharmacy, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway,
  • S. McKellar Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
  • S. Hudson Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK


Pharmacy, curriculum, clinical pharmacy, Norway, professional development


Introduction: The inclusion of patient-centred teaching into the “core curriculum” of the pharmacist’s basic education is varied throughout Europe. While clinical pharmacy is taught in an integrated way within the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum at the University of Tromsø, its relationship to the delivery of pharmaceutical care requires to be developed. This study explored the perceptions of pharmacists in Norway about pharmacy undergraduate curriculum change.
Methods: A general questionnaire was sent to 100 registered Norwegian pharmacists. The views of respondents were used along with tape recorded interviews (with six individual pharmacists and one group of seven) to design a specific questionnaire issued to 89 Tromsø Master of Pharmacy graduates (1999–2003).
Results and conclusion: The response rate to the general questionnaire was 63% and to the specific questionnaire 42%. The findings showed strong preferences for joint teaching with medical students; teaching from pharmacist practitioners; the imparting of problem solving skills through group work; the use of real patient case studies; and early contact with role models including community pharmacists. The investigation supports the curriculum changes, we have made to develop clinical pharmacy at the University of Tromsø. The study has identified the potential for improvement including joint teaching with medical students.


Aarbakke, J., Ballo, A., Dahl, T., Loennechen, T., Lund, E., Sma ̊brekke, L., Svendsen, J. S., & Naalsund, L. U. (1993). Pharmacy at the University of Tromsø, University Internal Report.

Drab, S., Lamsam, G., Connor, S., DeYoung, M., Steinmetz, K., & Herbert, M. (2004). Incorporation of service-learning across four years of the PharmD curriculum. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 68, 1–9.

EPSA Report. (1999). Pharmacy education—a vision of the future. A comprehensive collaborative study by pharmacy students worldwide on essential developments in pharmacy education, European Pharmacy Students Association.

Healey, T., Kane, K., Marshall, I., & Wilson, C. G. (1996). Student centred learning and its implementation at the University of Strathclyde. Pharmaceutical Journal, 256, 127–131.

Horsburgh, M., Landin, R., & Williamson, E. (2001). Multi- professional learning: The attitudes of medical, nursing and pharmacy students to shared learning. Medical Education, 35, 876 – 883.

Hudson, S. (2004). Chapter 12 ‘Hospital Pharmacies’ World Health Organisation. In E. Mossialos, M. Mrazek, & T. Walley (Eds.), WHO report, European Observatory on Health Care Systems. Regulating the Cost and Use of Pharmaceuticals in Europe. Containing costs while improving efficiency, quality and equity, Open University.

Leufkens, H., Hekster, Y., & Hudson, S. (1997). Scenario analysis of the future of clinical pharmacy. Pharmacy, World and Science, 19, 182–185.

Otter, S. J., Robinson, C. J., James, D., Allen, M. C., Davies, J. G., & Stew, G. (2003). An evaluation of an interdisciplinary joint clinical placement between podiatry and pharmacy students. Pharmacy Education, 3, 253–260.

Peters, S. J., & Mackinnon, G. E. (2004). Introductory practice and service learning experiences in US pharmacy curricula. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 68, 1–5.

Shah, R., Savage, I., & Kapadia, S. (2005). Patients’ experience of educating pharmacy undergraduate students. Pharmacy Edu- cation, 5, 61–67.

Speedie, M. K. (2003). Advancing our pharmaceutical care agenda: Reaching out. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 67, 1–2.

Tromp, T. H. F. J. (Ed.) (1999). Report of the task force for implementing pharmaceutical care. European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy. Quality Institute for Pharmaceutical Care: Groningen, Kampen.

UK Department of Health. (2003). Supplementary prescribing by nurses and pharmacists within the NHS in England: A guide for implementation, London.

Wilson, K., Langley, C., Jesson, J., & Hatfield, K. (2006). Mapping teaching, learning and assessment in the MPharm in UK Schools of Pharmacy. Pharmaceutical Journal, 277, 369–372.

Yanchick, V. A. (2005). Multidisciplinary education: A challenge for pharmacy education. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 69, 247–248.

Zarembski, D. G., Boyer, J. D., & Vlasses, P. H. (2005). A survey of advanced community pharmacy practice experiences in the final year of the PharmD curriculum at US colleges and schools of pharmacy. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 69, 10–18.

Zwarenstein, M., Reeves, S., Barr, H., Hammick, M., Koppel, I., & Atkins, J. (2006). Interprofessional education: Effects on professional practice and health care outcomes (Cochrane review). In The Cochrane library. Issue 1. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.



Research Article