A team of pharmacy students from Washington State University recently placed in the top five in a national business plan competition, continuing a winning streak set by teams in previous years.

WSU students have entered the competition four of the five years it has been held and have placed in the top five all four years.

They took first place once and second place twice. Only the top three teams advance to the final round of competition in October. Those teams this year are the University of Arizona, the University of Kansas and Samford University.

The WSU team of four students was again advised by Linda MacLean, a 1978 WSU pharmacy graduate and former Spokane pharmacy owner who now chairs the department of pharmacotherapy in the WSU College of Pharmacy. Dr. William Fassett, professor with the department of pharmacotherapy, coached and mentored the 2008 team as well.

“As with the three previous teams, we had lots of help from pharmacy owners in the state of Washington and other faculty members here at WSU,” MacLean said.

The students competed against teams from 29 other schools. All teams put together a business plan for a pharmacy and submitted them to the National Community Pharmacists Association, which announced the finalists at a meeting in Chicago in summer 2008.

Students on the WSU team were Manpreet Chahal, Mays Vue, Sean Thurston and Matthew Rhea, all from the class of 2010. The WSU team and others in the top 10 were awarded $300 per team member.