U.S.-Thai Consortium for the development of pharmacy education in Thailand: History, progress, and impact

Surakit Nathisuwan, Sutthiporn Pattharachayakul, Suphat Subongkot, Thitima Doungngern, Sirada M. Jones, Janet P. Engle, Alan Lau, Michael D. Katz, Julian Edward Moreton, Melody Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In Thailand during the early 1990s, there was a need for an increased number of pharmacists and expansion of their knowledge and skills to address the need of the nation. Leaders of the Thai pharmacy education community at the time crafted a long-term plan aiming to expand the pharmacy educator workforce at a national scale through the financial support of the Royal Thai Government. This led to the establishment of the United States-Thai Consortium for the Development of Pharmacy Education in Thailand in 1994. The aim of the Consortium was to advance pharmacy education in Thailand through the support of leading U.S. pharmacy schools using both short-term and long-term trainings. Twenty plus years later, pharmacy education and practice in Thailand have changed dramatically. The number of faculties (schools) of pharmacy in Thailand has increased from 10 in 1993 to 19 in 2013. The ratio of pharmacists to population has decreased from 1:10532 in 1994 to 1:2261 in 2016. The professional pharmacy curriculum has changed from a 5-year bachelor to a 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. The role of Thai pharmacists has been endorsed by national health service initiatives and practice guidelines. Currently, 7 universities offer residency/fellowship programs. The 8 Thai founding institutions of the Consortium are now publishing over 500 papers in high-quality international journals annually. In summary, pharmacy education, practice, and research in Thailand have improved dramatically through the U.S.-Thai Pharmacy Consortium. This bi-national model of knowledge and skill transfer may serve as an example for how a large-scale international partnership can facilitate a rapid and positive transformation of pharmacy in a developing country. Local adjustment and adaptation are required to reflect national identity and to suit the local context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-946
Number of pages12
JournalJACCP Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the following groups of people who had contributed to the formation of the Consortium (name and affiliation at the time). The founding Thai deans/representatives were Pavich Tongroach (Ministry of University Affairs), Sumon Sakolchai (Khon Kaen University), Sindchai Keokittichai (Silpakorn University), Piti Trisdikoon (Prince of Songkla University), Sunibhond Pummangura (Chulalongkorn University), Chantra Shaipanich (Mahidol University), Mondhon Sanguansermsri (Naresuan University), Jaratbhan Sanguansermsri (Chiang Mai University), and Bungorn Sripanidkulchai (Ubon Ratchathani University). We also acknowledge the founding U.S. deans including Geoffrey A. Cordell (University of Illinois at Chicago), Charles Rutledge (Purdue University), John M. Cassady (Ohio State University), Michael Schwartz (University of Florida), Donald Witak (University of Wisconsin), John L. Colaizzi (Rutgers University), and signing delegates including J. Edward Moreton (University of Maryland at Baltimore), Cheryl A. Zimmerman (University of Minnesota), Joseph Norwood (University of North Carolina), and Carl Trinca (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy) for their contribution. The authors acknowledge countless number of coordinators/representatives, faculty, students, and staff of all universities in the Consortium whose contribution throughout these 20+ years have led to admirable achievements partially listed in this short manuscript. We are also grateful for the support of the Royal Thai government and many government agencies that have been involved in the success of this collaboration. In addition, we cherished the support from the Pharmacy Council of Thailand and professional organizations both in Thailand and the U.S. for their contribution and support. Last, but not least, the authors would also like to dedicate this manuscript to commemorate the profound impact of the late Curtis A. Johnson (University of Wisconsin) and the late Sindchai Keokittichai (Silpakorn University and Burapha University) on the success of the Consortium activities. Their contributions, wisdom, and guidance had shaped the lives of so many and will forever be cherished and celebrated by all Consortium members.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.


  • curriculum
  • patient-centered care
  • pharmacy
  • pharmacy education
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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