13 March 2008

Alliance Boots signed a cooperation agreement in Rome today, with the University of Tor Vergata in Rome and the University of Nottingham, to support a new pharmacy degree course with a strong international focus and a modern understanding of the profession.

The new degree course will be based at the University of Tor Vergata and will be open to international pharmacy students from the start of the 2008 / 2009 academic year. The course will be taught in English and at the end of the five year course, successful students will be awarded a world-class and internationally-oriented pharmacy qualification. The universities have an international reputation in their respective fields, offering students the best of both worlds by giving them access to highly qualified research and teaching staff from each university. This course also provides fantastic opportunities with regards to scientific collaboration through the start-up of post-doctoral research projects, exchange of students, doctoral candidates, researchers and professors within the framework of the "Lifelong Learning Programme/Erasmus", as well as opening up a broader international perspective for the pharmacy profession.

The degree course allows students to specialise in three subject areas, such as Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies and Pharmacy Regulations. In addition, the degree offers hands-on training, with students spending six months within a pharmacy environment. The course is designed to reflect a demonstrated commitment to healthcare and to better prepare pharmacists to face new global challenges. It is a significant milestone in aiding the progressive development of the pharmacy profession.

Alliance Boots is dedicated to supporting the development of a new generation of pharmacists which has international mindset, is forward-looking and has an entrepreneurial spirit, ready to face the challenges of an evolving profession and the many roles pharmacists will play in the industry.

Postgraduate research projects will also be developed as part of the agreement, with an emphasis on projects designed to assess the impact of global warming on people's health across Europe as well as projects in the important fight against medical counterfeits across the globe; a real threat to public health.

Ornella Barra, Board Member and Wholesale & Commercial Affairs Director, Alliance Boots commented: "We are extremely delighted to be involved in international pharmacy education, and we are very much looking forward to working together with both universities to provide the very best training and expertise to all the students on the course. This cooperation agreement is at the heart of our pharmacist strategy and reinforces our commitment to international healthcare and the pharmacy profession."

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Editor's Notes:

Alliance Boots is an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group with two core businesses, pharmaceutical wholesale and retail pharmacy. Working in partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, the Group delivers a range of products and services that help millions of consumers and patients look and feel their best. Formed on 31 July 2006, Alliance Boots is privately owned and employs around 105,000* people. It has a wholesale and distribution network serving almost 130,000* pharmacies, hospitals and health centres via almost 370* depots in 15* countries and a network of approximately 3,100* outlets in nine* countries, of which around 2,800* have pharmacies.

* All figures include associates and affiliates

For further information, please contact:

Richard Constant, Gavin Anderson                              Yves Romestan / Zoe Farthing, Communications

Tel: +44 (0)20 7554 1400                                                Tel: +44 (0) 1932 871569

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