Kansas Pharmacist Numbers Ailing

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Experts say a tight pharmacist pool in Kansas could shrink even more if plans to expand the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy are scrapped.

Thirty-one counties in Kansas have only one pharmacy, while six others have none. Pharmacy owners say a shortage of pharmacists available to fill open positions could cause even more of them to close.

The university's pharmacy school has 105 students. The $60 million expansion project would add room to train an additional 85, including 40 at the university's School of Medicine campus in Wichita.

But Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget office has asked the Board of Regents to cut $15 million from its budget. Also, prospects for the $15 million in gambling revenues that legislators had planned to put toward the project in both 2010 and 2011 aren't as clear.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)