uOttawa creates a new School of Pharmaceutical Sciences with first ever French pharmacy program outside Quebec

Posted on Thursday, June 3, 2021

By Paul Logothetis
Media Relations Agent

The University of Ottawa is proud to announce its newly minted School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which will provide Canadian students with the first ever French undergraduate Doctor of Pharmacy program outside of Quebec. The new School is housed in the Faculty of Medicine.

The new program should help bolster Francophone pharmacy programs across Canada. Currently, only two universities in Quebec offer a French-speaking undergraduate pharmacy program out of 10 pharmacy programs offered across Canada.

The Faculty of Medicine’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences hopes to alleviate a strong demand for the French program in minority settings and a potential shortfall, with current estimates suggesting an additional 750 Francophone pharmacists will be needed in Canadian pharmacies outside of Quebec by 2026.

The undergraduate program will train students for a professional career as pharmacists in a community or healthcare setting, or the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory bodies, or an academic environment. The program will be physically located in state-of-the-art facilities, including the redesigned Roger Guindon Hall and the future Advanced Medical Research Centre, adjacent to the Hall.

The School will also endeavor to create contemporary graduate programs in the pharmaceutical sciences to train future generations of scientists in this important field. The program will be based on cutting-edge education techniques, experiential learning, early interprofessional integration, a focus on feedback and a competency-based orientation.

The Faculty of Medicine’s office of Francophone Affairs was the driving force behind the project. Apart from receiving the guidance of a pan-university committee and conducting internal analyses, an external firm was mandated to perform a needs analysis, helping to better understand the environment and to document the need for a pharmacy program in French and the interest of young people in such a program in Ottawa.

The four-year program is expected to begin accepting students in the fall of 2023.

"The University of Ottawa is proud to offer the first French-language undergraduate Pharmacy program in Canada, outside of Quebec. The training of Francophone and Francophile pharmacists not only addresses the current shortage of health care professionals that is severely affecting Francophone communities, but also makes the profession accessible to the Francophone minority across the country. I am delighted with the creation of this program, which will enrich and diversify the University of Ottawa's French-language program offerings."

  • Sanni Yaya, Vice-President, International and Francophonie

“The creation of the School is a historical moment for our Faculty. Not only does it demonstrate our sustained commitment to la Francophonie, but it also aligns well with our strong tradition of excellence in education and research. It is also very timely as it will ideally position our Faculty to increase its efforts in innovation and partnerships with industry and government in areas such as drug discovery and biomanufacturing.”

  • Bernard Jasmin, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine


    Dr. Manon Denis-LeBlanc

    “The role of the pharmacist in the health care team has evolved greatly in the last 10 years. Patients are now much closer to their pharmacist, where this professional can make a much-needed difference in health outcomes. However, language is at the heart of the beneficial communication, and training French-speaking pharmacists is central for minority communities.”

    Dr. Manon Denis-LeBlanc, Vice Dean Francophone Affairs


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