Kansas University's School of Pharmacy is considering opening a satellite pharmacy program in Wichita.
University officials say the plan would help bring pharmacists to other parts of the state where they're needed.
"Kansas has what I would call a small shortage," said Ken Audus, dean of the School of Pharmacy. "We have more of a distribution problem in the state of Kansas."
And Wichita would be a good launching pad for getting pharmacists in central and western Kansas, said S. Edwards Dismuke, dean of the KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
Dismuke said the campus has had success bringing doctors to that end of the state, so this could translate into pharmacists.
The program, which is still in the proposal stage, could train 15 to 20 students per year through a mixture of televideo conferencing and traditional classes, Dismuke said.
The classroom space is available, but the Wichita campus may need to accommodate at least six new faculty and a few staff members, Dismuke said.
Dismuke said the school was drawing plans for medical school expansion and had included some potential room for pharmacy.
KU Provost David Shulenburger said the university had to make sure there were enough resources available that the expansion did not diminish the quality of KU's current program.
Dismuke said the program would give KU another dimension in Wichita where other institutions create stiff competition for attention and funds.
"We need something to brag about," Dismuke said. "This is going to strengthen our ability to have a KU presence here."
And, he said, the program fits with KU's goal to build its cancer program, which includes drug development.
Even if approved, it will be at least two or three years before the campus could offer courses, Dismuke said.