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Student Pharmacists Win National Competition

Jul 16, 2013

In May, the National Consumers League (NCL) and its partners announced the award winners for the Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge naming University of the Pacific, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as one of the four recipients. Pacific took home the National Target Market Challenge Award.

This month-long competition engaged health profession students and faculty in developing creative ideas for raising awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue. The Medication Adherence Team Challenge is part of the Script Your Future public awareness campaign launched in 2011 by NCL. The campaign includes more than 130 public and private stakeholder organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

The Pacific Team under the direction of Dr. Allen Shek, Vice Chair and Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Director of the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Program, included Kristen Ward '14 (student lead), Andy Pang '14, Alexander Fung '14, Robert Lee '14 and Katherine Fong '14.

"The focus of our campaign was to address the issue of medication non-adherence to the diverse and underserved populations in the Stockton and Sacramento area," said Dr. Shek.

To tackle the challenge, the students dedicated their campaign to translating material into other languages, participating in health events that target underserved populations, and creating a social media page and radio show in hopes of educating people about the importance of adhering to their medication regimen.

Furthermore, Pacific students established a partnership with UC Davis medical students to expand the campaign outreach through student-run clinics to foster inter-professional collaboration.

"This not only served as affirmation that we are making a difference in our community but also, gave us further encouragement to continue to push the profession of pharmacy forward," said Fong who attended the Script Your Future Sacramento Coalition meeting and Healthcare Stakeholder Roundtable with Dr. Shek on June 11. Fong and her team attended the award ceremony in Washington, DC on July 10, 2013.

This year's Script Your Future contest included 1,700 future health care professionals, 200 events in 35 states, 12,000 medication adherence consultations, and reached more than three million consumers nationwide. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saw this as such a unique effort that it awarded the NCL a $200,000 grant over the next two years to further expand the campaign.

To learn more about Script Your Future, visit www.scriptyourfuture.org.

By: Dua Moua '09