Continuing what has become an annual tradition, a team of Washington State University pharmacy students has placed in the top 10 in a business plan competition held by the National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation.

WSU won first place in the competition in 2006 and took second place in 2007 and 2004, which was the first year it was held. Last year, WSU placed in the top 5. “We’re developing this culture where one team mentors the next one,” said Linda Garrelts MacLean, a faculty advisor for the teams. The three students on the 2009 team were helped by a student from the 2008 team, she said.

Internal competition between students who want to be in the national competition also is starting to occur within the College of Pharmacy at WSU. There were two teams that created business plans, but only one could be entered into the national competition, so judging had to be done within the College first.

The team selected had created a plan to open a pharmacy in Vancouver, Wash., that specializes in pain management. That plan competed with 28 others and ended up in the top 10, but was not one of the three plans that will be considered in the final round of competition in October. WSU team members were Christopher R. Mellon and Jessica L. Moore, both of the class of 2011, and Hung M. Le of the class of 2012. Each will receive $300 to attend the NCPA fall convention in New Orleans in October.