UCSOP Garners National Attention Once More!

The National Consumers League and its partners have released the results from the Script Your Future campaign, and UCSOP is once again on the national platform! If you are currently involved with the school of pharmacy, or have been following this blog for the last few months, you are probably aware of all the efforts that have gone into this medication adherence campaign. Our students and faculty worked tirelessly throughout the months of January and February to help patients pledge they would work on their medication adherence. Students created a commercial shown on local TV, hosted over a dozen health fairs, and handed out hundreds of wallet cards fliers. In the end, the school got pledges from hundreds of people, and reached over 300,000 individuals in total.

untitledNow that the results are in, however, we can see that the hours  and days of preparation have paid off. The school was nationally recognized as an Honorable Mention for the National Award and received the Health Disparity, Under-represented Community Outreach National Award. UCSOP was recognized for following its mission statement and focusing on serving populations that may not have access to good, quality healthcare. These types of communities aren’t always the focus of healthcare as they don’t bring big numbers or profits, but they often require the most help. The school stayed true to its mission and focused on helping these individuals get the information they need.

This award was made possible thanks to The Script Your Future committee, including committee chair John Robinson and faculty advisors Dr. Susan Gardner and Professor Melissa Garrett Jensen. Thanks to their efforts, as well as multiple faculty members and students, UCSOP now has a 2015 National Award Honorable Mention and 2015 Health Disparity Community Outreach National Award to hang beside the 2013 National Award. Let’s continue the efforts into the next year and hopefully bring home the National Award once more!

Contributed by Peter Relvas (P4)

Let the Rotations Begin!

The first few weeks of P4 rotations is complete, with students working at many rotation sites that are available to UCSOP students. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “rotation site,” think of it as on-the-job training. Students have the opportunity to work at a pharmacy or hospital; classrooms are available if the student is interested in teaching what they’ve learned. The experience allows students to hone their communication skills with patients, while helping fortify the teachings they received in the classroom setting. The goal of the experience is to expose students to their future jobs and responsibilities, with a safety net in the form of a preceptor.

P4 Student Kyle Robinson with Preceptor Joey Anderson at Alum Creek Pharmacy on Sand Plant Road

P4 Student Kyle Robinson with Preceptor Joey Anderson at Alum Creek Pharmacy on Sand Plant Road

Incoming students may be curious as to what rotation sites are available, and I know one of the first emails I sent  as a pharmacy student was to the Experiential Experience Director asking what rotation sites I could look forward to. The director emailed me a rough list and although I had a few years before I could experience most of them, I felt excited and started my planning. At this point, I should clarify roughly how the process works. Students rank the rotations they want, and then a computer system utilizes a lottery-like algorithm to determine which student goes to what site. Therefore, there is a bit of randomness involved and nothing is truly certain.

Luckily the school has a very strong preceptor network, covering multiple different fields of pharmacy. Students interested in institutional environments like hospitals have options like the Cleveland Clinic, Indian Health Services, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC), Cabell Huntington Hospital, Thomas Memorial Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Highland Hospital, just to name a few. If students prefer to go into retail or community pharmacy, there is a plethora of rotations as well. These include CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Walgreens, and Kroger rotations, as well as many independently owned pharmacies that focus on compounding and home infusion products. UCSOP also has rotations specializing in academia, research, and industrial pharmacy. Opportunities for such rotations are available with professors at the school, but also with Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the drug manufacturer giant in Morgantown, WV.

This list only contains a few of the available rotation sites, as the UCSOP has sites as far west as Guam, Alaska, and New Mexico, as well as many in Chicago, Columbus, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. There’s also the possibility of setting up a new rotation site as well, however this process may take a very long time, as the site must be qualified and inspected to ensure the school’s standards are met.

As a student who originally was worried about the available sites, I have come to realize that the only real limitation is the lack of time to experience them all. Looking at my current rotation schedule, I wish I could try a few more than just the eight I am current assigned.

Contributed by Peter Relvas, P4 student.

Experience Pharmacy This Summer!

ExRx-postcard

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is inviting high school juniors, seniors and college undergraduates to Experience Pharmacy in June 2015. Faculty and staff will conduct an intensive three-day summer camp for students interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy. The ExRx (Experience Pharmacy) Bootcamp will be held Monday, June 22 through Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy in Charleston, WV.

Gannett mannequinParticipants will have the opportunity to learn about various pharmacy career paths, participate in activities in the compounding, simulation and IV labs, and tour the School of Pharmacy. They will also receive advice on preparing and applying for college and pharmacy school. There will be interesting sessions on the history of pharmacy, medicinal plants, medication adherence and patient consultation.

Evening activities will include: a scavenger hunt, a service project, a board game night, ice cream social and pizza, movies and s’mores night.

Students will stay in the UC residence halls and meals will be provided in the UC dining halls. The $99.00 fee includes meals, lodging, linens, towels, curricular materials, and activities. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available.IV Wednesday

For more information or to register please contact Ms. Jamie Bero at jamiebero@ucwv.edu or by telephone at 304-720-6685. Registration forms are also available at: www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy

 

Need an Application Extension? Currently Waitlisted? Read below!

Some of you may be thinking to yourselves, “The admission cycle is coming to an end and I didn’t finish my application… There goes my dream of applying to the University of Charleston’s pharmacy program!”

Fear not, my friend. The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy has decided to extend its application period! Planning is essential, as there are a few hurdles applicants must clear before applying. Although the deadline has been set to June 1st, the applicant must have a profile with PharmCAS by May 18th. When the student is ready to submit their application, they can contact Ms. Stacie Geise, whose contact information will be included below, to request a 48 hour extension.  Once this request is processed, PharmCAS will contact the student via email confirming they have 48 hours to submit their application to the UCSOP.

 

“But, what if I was put on the wait-list? What happens now?” Well, luckily Ms. Geise has completed a thorough guide for wait-listed students!

Geise (1)The applicants who are offered a spot on the waitlist are those we would love to have in our program at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. Should a seat become available in the class, candidates from this list will be offered full admission into the UCSOP program.

What are my chances of being admitted from the waitlist? The number of students admitted from the waitlist varies from cycle to cycle. The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will continue to make to make offers, as seats become available, until the start of the required PHAR 501L (Seminar in Professionalism) on August 10, 2015.

If I am made an offer, what will I need to do next?

  • Prior to May 1st: You will have one week to submit either your full $1,000 deposit or your first $500 installment (the second $500 installment will be due May 1st).
  • After May 1st: You will be required to submit your full $1,000 non-refundable tuition deposit by the given deadline.
  • Please note, as we get closer to August, the amount of time you have to accept your offer may decrease from one week, five day, three day, 24 hours.
  • The amount of time you have to accept your offer will be given to you at the time the offer is made (via phone and email).

Should I submit my FAFSA if I am on the waitlist?  We encourage students to submit their FAFSA while on the waitlist. This will help expedite the financial aid process if you are made an offer and the FAFSA has already been submitted.

University of Charleston School Code: 003818

What steps can I be taking now to prepare for an offer of admission to the UCSOP?  There are various admission requirements that admitted students need to complete prior to starting the program.

Some steps you can take now to prepare for an offer:

  • Start your Hepatitis B shot series (you must have the 1st and 2nd shot prior to starting the program)
  • Take your BLS-CPR Class
  • Start to get an idea of places to live in the Charleston area if you are wanting to live off-campus
  • Contact our office if you are interested in viewing all requirements in more detail
  • Continue working on completing any outstanding prerequisite courses (You will need to have successfully completed all prerequisite courses by July 24, 2015.)
  • If admitted, the first day of orientation (PHAR 501L) will be Monday, August 10, 2015

If I am offered admission, how will I be contacted?

  • The Office of Professional & Student Affairs (OPSA) will call and email you regarding your offer of admission.
  • Make sure the OPSA has your updated contact information at all times.
  • Be sure to check your voicemail and email daily in the event an offer is made.

keep-calm-and-believe-in-yourself-1588What if I am not offered admission by August 10, 2015? If you are not offered admission to the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy this cycle, we encourage you to apply again. We do participate in the PharmCAS Early Decision Program. You would need to complete and submit your PharmCAS by the September 1, 2015 deadline. Please visit http://www.pharmcas.org for details.

 

I am a student applying next year. Do you have any tips for avoiding the waitlist?

  • Apply early! The application typically is available beginning in July and interviews start in September for Early Decision applicants and November for traditional applicants.
  • Remember, it generally takes 4-6 weeks for an application to be verified by PharmCAS once a completed application and all transcripts are received.
  • Follow up with those writing your letters of recommendation as a missing letter could delay you in moving forward in the UCSOP admissions cycle.

Monitor the status of your PharmCAS application through the website, check emails often. Remember to check your Junk/Spam folder as sometimes important, time-sensitive emails from PharmCAS and the UCSOP can end up in this folder.

 

Ms. Stacie Geise
UC SOP Admissions Specialist
phone: 304-357-4889
email: staciegeise@ucwv.edu

Contributed by Stacie Geise, UC SOP Admissions Specialist, and Peter Relvas, UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.

Life After Pharmacy School: It DOES Exist!

As a current student and tour guide to UCSOP applicants, I often joke that students look forward to two very specific days in their pharmacy school careers. The first being the day they get accepted into pharmacy school, and the second quickly becomes the day they graduate. As soon as the first year starts, students are already thinking about graduation. They wish for no more all-nighters, 3-hour lectures, or K-type or “Select All of the Above” exam questions. Instead, they dream of getting paid for saving lives and helping people receive their medications.

Now we have someone to give hope to all of those current and future pharmacy students! Today’s feature puts the spotlight on UCSOP alumnus Carly Preece (formerly Marcum) from the Class of 2014. Dr. Preece was generous enough to grant us an interview detailing her life after graduation and showing us that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? Any hobbies or interests?

Dr. Preece: My name is Carly Preece (formerly Marcum). I am from Pike County in Kentucky. I recently married Chase Preece. I have an older brother, Justin Marcum (lawyer and House of Delegates member), 2 nieces, and 5 nephews. I enjoy working out, running, spending time with family, and cheering on my alma mater, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Go Cats!

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Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your duties as a pharmacist? What’s your daily day life? Do you enjoy your job? How do you feel about taking on students?

Dr. Preece: I work at Kmart Pharmacy (Patrick St and Kanawha City stores). My days are crazy and busy, but I enjoy my job and never take a day for granted. I do a little bit of everything in the pharmacy. My days involve opening the store, running out auto-fill prescriptions for the day, answering phone calls and counseling, giving immunizations, calling insurance companies, checking and filling prescriptions, completing the daily drug orders, and when time allows, checking the inventory for outdates. The most important and enjoyable part of my job though, is when I feel that I am making a difference in a patient’s life and/or when I am able to teach them something about their medications that they didn’t already know. I enjoy having students at the store and try to make everything a learning experience. I feel that on-hand experience is the best way of learning and nothing can take the place of that.

carly2

Q: We recently heard you were married! How do you handle or maintain a balance between work and your personal life?

Dr. Preece: My husband and I were married just after I graduated. We recently bought a house out of the Charleston area too, so I currently have a little drive to work. Time management is crucial, since I usually do 10 or 12 hour days. I don’t have much time to do anything else after work. However, my husband and I have definitely developed a routine and take turns making dinner, completing house chores, and running errands depending on our schedules. We try to balance time with our friends and family, as well as with each other, since these are very important to the both of us. Life after pharmacy school is great though. It took me 8 years to get there but all the hard work was definitely worth it. I feel extremely blessed and no matter how stressful my days can be sometimes, I never take my job for granted.

carly5

Q: Could you take us back to when you were a student in UCSOP? What was your favorite class? What was the most challenging class for you? Any suggestions for current students?

Dr. Preece: I enjoyed pharmacy school for the most part. There were ups and downs, of course. Some classes were easy for me, while others were harder. It was a lot of hard work, but I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do. My favorite class was therapy, though. I enjoy the clinical aspect of pharmacy and therapy brought everything together that I had been learning for the first 2.5 years in pharmacy school.

My greatest advice is to never fall behind. I stayed on top of every class, the best I could, so I didn’t have to cram. You learn better that way and the information stays with you for the long term. Every night, I would always read before therapy and was prepared for class so that when the teacher lectured, I was able to listen. It was just reinforcing everything I learned the night before.

You also have to prioritize your duties because sometimes you can get too much on your plate, which is another reason why it is crucial to stay on top of things and make the best of your time. When you are in class, make the best of it and pay attention. Yes, I know it is hard sometimes to pay attention for hours at a time, but I just pushed myself. I knew that when I went home, I would rather relax for a bit, go for a run, and spend time with my future husband/family/friends, instead re-reading everything. It is also equally important to make “fun time” as well and remember to enjoy this part of your life.

carly3

Q: Do you have any other long-term goals or dreams?

Dr. Preece: I feel very content right now. I feel like I have achieved my dreams. I am married, just bought a house, have a great job, amazing friends and family, and doing what I love to do. My long-term goals now are to work on starting a family with my husband, paying off my student loans, and striving on a daily basis to do great things for my patients. I take great pride in my job and always want to make a patient feel like they can come talk to me anytime about anything.

We would like to thank Dr. Carly Preece for her help with this post, as well as P3 Juhee Kim, who interns at K-Mart with Dr. Preece! Without them, this post would not be nearly as entertaining or informative!

 

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.

Students Visit Capitol Hill

When applying to a pharmacy school, students must consider the plethora of opportunities the school can offer them. “What can this school offer to me? Why UCSOP instead of another school?” One of the reasons the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is often chosen is because of its focus on a small, tight-knit community as well as its efforts in advocacy. Students are encouraged to advocate for their profession, and help push health care forward,  locally and nationally.

Katie Oliver and Brian Hancock on Capitol Hill

Katie Oliver and Brian Hancock on Capitol Hill

Proactive students, like Katie Oliver (P2) and Brian Hancock (P2), make the most of these opportunities. When offered the chance to travel to Washington, D.C., the two jumped at the possibility to meet with congressmen and women. The goal was to educate Senators and Representatives on the benefits of granting pharmacists “provider status,” which would expand a pharmacist’s role and allow them to be paid for various new services. Katie’s reflection of the event gives upcoming students an idea of what a student-pharmacist can accomplish.

Katie: “I was recently given the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. where I met with several congressman in order to advocate for Pharmacist Provider Status. I was provided the opportunity through Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists, a national student pharmacist organization that is available for membership at the University of Charleston.

I am grateful to have had this experience because it taught me the importance of advocating on behalf of the profession of pharmacy. Throughout my visit I was able to have a personal meeting with four United States congressmen regarding provider status for pharmacists in medically under served areas, a topic that could drastically change health care as well as pharmacist-patient interactions.  The congressmen were very responsive and interested in our views, most importantly how Provider Status for pharmacists would impact the lives of our patients.

After our visit to Capitol Hill, numerous additional congressmen signed on as cosponsors to the corresponding Provider Status bill. The experience revealed to me that many congressmen unfortunately do not have a background in health care. This is why it is imperative that we advocate on behalf of our profession and patients. I would strongly encourage any student or potential student to become involved in advocacy events. Change can be seen based on a few citizens’ actions.”

Thank you to Katie Oliver for helping with this post! Keep up the good work!

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.

Pharmacist Day at the WV Legislature

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy joined Marshall University School of Pharmacy (MUSOP) and West Virginia University School of Pharmacy (WVUSOP) to help promote the profession of pharmacy and impact public health for all West Virginia residents during the 2015 Pharmacists Day at the Legislature. The event was held at the State Capitol Complex on Monday, February 23, 2015. Under the guidance of Drs. Capehart (WVUSOP), Gardner (UCSOP), Lucas (UCSOP), and Wolcott (MUPDATL PhotoSOP), over 300 pharmacy students participated to help advocate for the profession and for our patients.

In total, 31 groups of students (5-6 per group) met with delegates and senators to share the pharmacists’ role in health care delivery. Many representatives were more than willing to take time out of their busy schedules to meet with students and talk about upcoming legislation and public health concerns. Information about medication adherence was also distributed to 389 persons as part of the University of Charleston’s Script Your Future Campaign.

P3 Kyle Sargent performing a blood pressure reading as Ms. Smith counsels a patient.

P3 Kyle Sargent performing a blood pressure reading as Ms. Smith counsels a patient.

In addition to advocating for the profession, Ms. Barbara Smith, an instructor and preceptor for UCSOP, organized a blood pressure and diabetes health fair at the Capitol to help educate individuals on the importance of monitoring their blood pressure and blood glucose levels, as well as providing them with a blood pressure reading while on site. In total, 60 patients had their blood pressures and diabetes risks screened, helping to demonstrate the importance and versatility of pharmacists in a healthcare system.

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.

Celebrating Women in Pharmacy–Gertrude Elion

In honor of Women’s History Month, we will be posting a few short snippets about women in pharmacy periodically throughout March 2015. We start with Gertrude B. Elion, an American pharmacologist and biochemist.

download (3)Elion is most famous for her scientific discovery of the drugs needed to treat leukemia and herpes. She also discovered the drugs necessary to prevent the rejection of kidney transplants. Her worked earned her Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988 which she shared with George H. Hitchings, her long-time boss and collaborator at Burroughs-Wellcome, and also Sir James W. Black.

She is quoted as saying: “Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. In my day I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t.” 

Contributed by: Dr. Susan M. Gardner, Assistant Professor & Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs (Course Coordinator for PHAR 546: History of Pharmacy)

Attending the ASHP Midyear Meeting: A Student’s Perspective

“Are you going to Midyear this year?” It’s a question asked hundreds of times every fall semester, typically by P3 and P4 students in the ASHP-SSHP chapter at UCSOP. For those unfamiliar with the Midyear ASHP meeting, it is a massive gathering of health-system pharmacists and pharmacy students. This past December, the national meeting was held in Anaheim, CA, with over 20,000 pharmacy professionals attending. The meeting itself spans multiple days and includes seminars and presentations appropriate for both students and practitioners. While the event is a great place to socialize with fellow professionals, it is also an incredibly nerve-wrecking experience, especially those applying for residencies.

Students interested in residency programs after graduating from pharmacy school often attend the residency showcase, which allows students to interact with residency directors from programs across the nation. This is a great time to network and get to know the programs that you may be applying to in the future. P3 Jennifer Byerly attended the Midyear meeting and had this to say about the experience:

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Jennifer Byerly (P3) and Temeka Lewis (P4) presented a posted on their experiences in Haiti

“As a P3 student, I was given the chance to explore what Midyear had to offer.  I plan on attending the residency showcase next year, so seeing the chaos beforehand was beneficial.  I was able to go into the residency showcase and walk around on the last day to see what it would be like for next year.  I see how applicants interacted with residents and what types of questions people ask to the programs and their residency directors.  Since I had some free time, I was able to sit in on different seminars regarding CV’s, letters of intent, and the scramble.  They were helpful because I won’t need to feel like I’m missing out on anything next year.  The highlight of my experience was presenting a poster about the Haiti medical mission trip along with Temeka Lewis. By doing so, I was able to spread what we do here at UC to other schools and residents.”

Another incredibly popular event within Midyear itself is the Clinical Skills Competition. The competition includes 2 students from each school of pharmacy from across the nation. The teams are all given the same patient case and asked to develop a treatment plan. UCSOP’s team for 2014 consisted of Melanie Hackney and Joshua Hapney, both P4 students. They have both generously agreed to comment on what they thought of the competition and how future participants should prepare.

“A trip to midyear is always filled with a mixture of excitement and nervousness, especially for those going as a part of the Clinical Skills Competition. There seems to be no way to really prepare yourself for what they will give you. Topics can range from pediatrics to oncology to infectious diseases. The competition is set up nicely, you have plenty of space to work and references to use — though it can be difficult having to share the iPad to use Lexicomp. My advice for students going to the Clinical Skills Competition is to read over past cases to see what little nuances they will be looking for such as nonpharmacological therapies. Also, I would recommend on reading over common guidelines — hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, heart failure– because your patient will most likely have at least one of these disease states. The most important part of it all though is to have fun, this is not something to stress over particularly if you are also there looking at residency programs.  My favorite part of the whole experience was the excitement leading up to the competition, all of us were very anxious to see what the topic could possibly be!” –Melanie Hackney (P4)

“The National ASHP Clinical Skills Competition at Midyear in Anaheim, California was a great experience. This was my first time attending Midyear and the number of activities, pharmacists, and pharmacy students present was overwhelming. The competition itself was highly organized. Winners from various pharmacy schools competed at different times throughout the day. We were contacted well in advanced from ASHP with information pertaining to the competition. My partner, Melanie Hackney, and myself arrived to be welcomed by ASHP staff, which assisted us with registration for the competition. We then were placed in a room with other competitors where I was able to interact with pharmacy students from across the country.  The competition started with an overview of the rules and scoring process. A video case was presented followed by us moving to a larger room to complete the written portion.

I prepared for the competition by reviewing the rules and regulations posted on ASHP’s website. In addition, I reviewed clinical practice guidelines on various disease states.  However, it is difficult to prepare for something such as this because there is no way of knowing what the case will be on. My best advice would be to read as much as you can prior to competition day and then do the best you can in the time given. In addition to the clinical skills competition, I was able to participate in the residency showcase where I met with residents and residency directors from various programs. Midyear was a fantastic experience and I recommend that everyone participate in the clinical skills competition, even if you are a P1 or P2, as it is a valuable learning experience.” –Joshua Hapney (P4)

P4s Brandi Sugonis and Jennifer Leslie presenting a poster on Cancer Prevention.

P4s Brandi Sugonis and Jennifer Leslie presenting a poster on Cancer Prevention.

P4 John Muller presenting his poster at Midyear

P4 John Muller presenting his poster at Midyear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A special thank you goes out to Jennifer Byerly, Melanie Hackney, and Joshua Hapney for taking time out of their busy schedules to help with this topic!

Contributed by Peter Relvas UC SOP Pharmacy Student & Graduate Intern, Office of Professional and Student Affairs.

UCSOP SSHP Chapter wins National Video Competition

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) student chapter (SSHP) of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) was named the national winner of the first ASHP Pharmacy Practice Model Initiatives (PPMI)video competition.  The video was judged on content, quality of production and overall final product.  The judges stated the message delivered by the video exceeded that of other submissions.

The group was recognized during the Student Society Showcase and Awards Ceremony at the 2014 Midyear Clinical Meeting in December in Anaheim, CA.  The student chapter (SSHP) received a certificate and PPMI Video Award.  The video is featured on the PPMI Video Competition webpage of the ASHP website and the UCSOP website.

UCSOP faculty, students and staff involved in creating the video included:  Jennifer Byerly, Josh Dunn, Jelena Radan, Felix Tan, Vivian Ugboh, Albert Won,  Mrs. Jane Condee, Mr. Ryan Jenkins and Dr. Christopher Foley.

ASHP’s Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) aspires to transform how pharmacists care for patients by empowering the pharmacy team to take responsibility for medication-use outcomes. – See more at: http://www.ashpmedia.org/ppmi/overview.html#sthash.0q7a37Mc.dpuf

You can also view the video on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/University-of-Charleston-School-of-Pharmacy/256321047732332