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Tel: 800.544.7447
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Supported by:

Good Neighbor Pharmacy

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In an effort to promote interest in independent community pharmacy ownership, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the NCPA Foundation established the NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Annual Student Business Plan Competition in 2004. The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create the blueprint necessary for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or developing a new pharmacy. Named in honor of the late Neil Pruitt, Sr., and the late H. Joseph Schutte, two pillars of the independent pharmacy community, the Student Business Plan Competition is the first national contest of its kind in the pharmacy profession.

"This competition helps pharmacy students understand the importance of having a solid business plan," said NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce Roberts, RPh. "By giving them the chance to develop and test their planning models and receive valuable feedback from pharmacy professionals, we are able to better prepare tomorrow's pharmacy entrepreneurs for the future. In the short time since we began the competition, several competition participants have gone on to successfully implement these plans after graduating from pharmacy school."

In 2007, the NCPA Foundation launched a campaign to grow the Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition Endowment Fund to $1 million dollars by 2012. This goal will support the annual operating expenses of the Competition in perpetuity and sustain its long-term viability. Thanks to the generosity of AmeriSourceBergen's Good Neighbor Pharmacy network this goal was met and announced at the NCPA Annual Convention 2009. The competition is also supported by the Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company.

Rob Wenzl, Pharm.D., former participant of the NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Annual Student Business Plan Competition, went onto become owner of Wenzl Drug in Phillipsburg, KS, within only seven months of graduating from the U. of KS. "The competition gave me a much more indepth view of what I was getting into.  It helped me define a business plan and fulfill my life-long dream of owning a pharmacy."

Champions of Independent Pharmacy

Neil Pruitt, Sr., who was killed in a tragic car accident in 2003, served as president of NCPA, then NARD, in 1981-1982 and was a Trustee on the NCPA Foundation. Pruitt grew his company, United Health Services, from a single independent pharmacy in northeast Georgia into a multifaceted health care organization with operations in several southeastern states.

H. Joseph Schutte served as president of NCPA in 1985-1986 and as a Trustee on the NCPA Foundation Board from 1999 until his death in 2009. His career started with owning his own community pharmacy and eventually he owned six pharmacies in Kentucky that provided services for thousands of patients in long-term care facilities. In 1995, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute. He was the CEO and founder of Geri-Med, Rx-Med, and IV-Med.

The Pruitt and Schutte families initiated the endowment fund for the Student Business Plan Competition in 2004.