NCPA and AAPS Host Script Your Future Event at Fruth Pharmacy!

Student pharmacists at UCSOP are working diligently towards reaching their goal of 10,000 pledges for the 2017 Script Your Future Challenge. However, reaching this goal cannot be done without collaboration and support from fellow students and community organizations. This is why NCPA and AAPS have teamed up to host a Script Your Future event at four Fruth Pharmacy locations in West Virginia! Details about this event can be found below.
Script Your Future   Fruth Pharmacy

Who: NCPA, AAPS, UCSOP Students, Fruth Pharmacy staff and customers

What: Script Your Future/Medication Disposal/Medication Synchronization Outreach

Where: Fruth @ Oakwood Road, Lee Street, Scott Depot, and Nitro

When: February 20-25, 2017

Details: Students from UCSOP will be volunteering at the Fruth stores in Scott Depot, Nitro, Oakwood Road, and Lee Street to educate patients about medication adherence, medication disposal, and medication synchronization.  This event will focus on getting patients to take the Script Your Future Pledge. Students will also be handing out goodie bags filled with medication wallet cards cards, pill organizers, and flyers for education on how to properly dispose or medications. Students will also have their iPads on-site so customers can conveniently take the pledge in real-time!

Come out and support our students while learning more about medication adherence and safety! If you’d like to learn more about Script Your Future visit http://www.scriptyourfuture.com or take the pledge at http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy!

Script Your Future – Tips on Talking With Your Pharmacist About Using Medications Safely

Script Your FuturePharmacists are a valuable resource for patients when they have questions about their medications. Being the drug experts means that pharmacists are well-educated in both prescription and non-prescription medications. If you or someone you know have any questions about your medications and how to take them safely, contact your local pharmacist!

When speaking with your pharmacist regarding your medications, it is very important to give him/her any information about your health and current medications. Things to inform your pharmacist about include: any food or drug allergies, if you have any restrictions that could influence your ability to take medications (i.e. difficulty swallowing), a list of all your current medications and health conditions, and if you are pregnant or may become pregnant, etc.

When asking your pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional for that matter, a question regarding your care it can be helpful to write down a list of questions you want to ask them. Examples of questions to ask your pharmacist:

  1. What are the brand and generic names?
  2. What is this for, and how is it going to help me?
  3. How and when should I use it? How much do I use?
  4. How long should I use it? Can I stop using the medicine or use less if I feel better?
  5. What should I do if I miss a dose or use too much?
  6. When will the medicine start working? How should I expect to feel?

When talking with your pharmacist about your medications, be sure you write down any important information they tell you, take home and read any pamphlets of information provided to you, and make sure you have the pharmacy’s phone number in case you need to call back for further questions! Once you get home, there are additional steps you can take to ensure you are taking your medications safely and properly. Tips for safe medication use at-home include: double checking the label on the bottle to make sure you are taking the correct medication, using proper measuring devices (syringes, medication spoons, etc.) to get the correct dose, and following proper storage directions for the medication (refrigeration, away from light, etc.).

For more helpful tips on how to talk to your pharmacist and take your medications safely, visit www.fda.gov/usemedicinesafely

Provider Status and Pharmacists: What’s the Connection?

Healthcare delivery in the United States and around the world faces various challenges including increased cost, improving quality, and reduced access. More people have the benefit to receive care and live healthy lives, however, there is a shortage in the number of healthcare professionals available to provide their care. By 2025 there is a projected fall in the availability in the number of physicians in the United States based on the huge gap in the supply and demand in this field. Costs are rising because the few available physicians must work more to accommodate all patients. This creates a unique opportunity for pharmacists to provide care to patients, especially if they receive official national recognition as healthcare providers and given the right to expand the services allowed under their scope of practice.

Per the Department of Health and Human Services, it is projected that there will be about 368,000 active pharmacists in the United States by 2030. By then, the general population will increase in number as well, making the need for healthcare professionals rise even further. Pharmacists are among the most trusted healthcare professionals due to their availability and personal relationships with their patients. However, in the Social Security Act, pharmacists are not formally recognized as healthcare providers. Even though they work in a wide-reaching field ranging from clinical specialties, to community/retail pharmacies, geriatrics, ambulatory care, and industry and research, they have not been given the privilege to be fully accepted as providers, and thus, cannot bill Medicare Part B for their services. This is the reason why all pharmacists must support and advocate for the provider status movement which was initiated in March March 2014.

Another reason why pharmacists should be recognized as providers is their status as health care professionals with extensive, thorough, and specific knowledge about drugs. Pharmacists have increased availability to patients, especially those in rural/underserved areas, and often work extended hours. A patient can walk into a community pharmacy at any time of the day to ask questions regarding any health concerns, medications being taken, or anything pertaining to their health and have a trained professional there to assist them. This means that, at some levels, pharmacists spend more time with their patients than physicians. Pharmacists often see the same patients come to the store everyday just to have conversations, which allows them to become more familiar with the patients and develop personal relationships with them. These relationships create trust between both sides and trust happens to be to the number one value that health care professionals need for their patients to believe that they are receiving the best care possible. Physicians have limited time to spend with their patients, and their encounters are very limited, which is why developing personal relationships and higher levels of trust with their patients is more difficult than that of pharmacists.

It’s easy to see how pharmacists play an important role in providing efficient and high-quality patient care. Pharmacists have vast knowledge regarding drugs, and are valuable for drug therapy management. With the introduction of Point Of Care Testing (POCT), most pharmacists have the ability to provide primary basic care to patients even when visiting local community pharmacies. Therefore, it is necessary for pharmacists to be formally recognized as providers so they can reach their full potential as professionals and help more patients receive the adequate health care they deserve.

Contributed by Koffi Amegadje, NCPA Community Outreach Chair, Class of 2020

The National Opioid Epidemic and Pharmacist’s Role in Drug Diversion

An epidemic is ravaging our country and the ways in which we, as pharmacists and healthcare providers, can aid in the fight that is the “Opioid Crisis” are numerous. Take our beloved state of West Virginia for instance, where there have been 33.5 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents from 2011-13 compared to 22 per 100,000 residents in the years preceding. (1) “Wyoming, McDowell, Boone and Mingo [counties] lead the nation in fatal overdoses caused by pain pills, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (2) Over the past 6 years drug wholesalers have shipped nearly 800 million oxycodone and hydrocodone tablets drawing the attention of both the DEA and the state government. One of the nation’s largest wholesalers, Cardinal, agreed to pay over $40 million in fines to settle allegations of failure to report suspicious purchasing patterns for opioids. (3) You may find yourself asking what can I, a pharmacist, do to help?

First and foremost, counseling our patients on their medications and informing them of the potential risk of abuse is a great first step. It is important to get to know our patients and their situation so we can make sure the medications are used responsibly. Remind patients that medication is not to be shared with friends or family under any circumstances without the consult and consent of their health care provider. Inquire of your patient(s) whether the medication is working to alleviate symptoms and offer additional ways to help manage pain such as exercise, meditation, or even yoga. If needed, refer them to additional resources such as their doctor or other healthcare providers.

Secondly, inform patients about overdose protocol and the availability of lifesaving drugs such as naloxone (Narcan). Police and paramedics, who are usually the first responders to overdose victims, are also carrying naloxone to help curb loss of life. Educate individuals on the proper use of naloxone to reverse an overdose whether it accidental or intentional and where to purchase an emergency dose. Naloxone is now available by physician protocol at your local pharmacies in many states, including WV. It is imperative to instruct those who purchase naloxone that after administering a dose they must go to the hospital immediately because the effects will wear off and the victim will require hospital attention.

DEA 360 Strategy Meeting in the UC Ballroom!

DEA 360 Strategy Meeting in the UC Ballroom!

Pharmacists also have a responsibility to be proactive in this “Opioid Crisis” and become advocates for change in our communities. Reaching out to our state Senate and House of Representatives to promote new legislation and initiatives to curb this wave of abuse is another great step. On Wednesday January 25th 2017, DEA representatives came to the University of Charleston to host a stakeholders strategy meeting that focused on providing support for West Virginia for heroin and opioid use, and violence in our community. US Attorney Caroline Mastro has approved $500,000 for the trial portion of a program to diversify ways to help out this crisis. The DEA speakers addressed the present dismissive attitudes surrounding the subject and called out to leaders to unite with the common goal of fighting addiction in this state.

These patients are not the enemy but a casualty to what has historically been labeled a victimless crime. So the next time someone comes in a day early to fill their script or the doctor ups their dose don’t just shove them out the door replying, “it is too soon to fill” or “we don’t have any in stock.” Have a conversation with the patient to make sure they are aware that help is out there if they are ready to start their journey to recovery. Those who are abusing pain medications may be doing so in order to mask the pain of another situation and your conversation may spark the road to recovery! Please join us in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

References:

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3128229/West-Virginia-rate-drug-overdose-deaths.html
  2. http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/12/19/report-dea-records-show-west-virginia-flooded-with-drugs.html
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cardinal-health-fined-44-million-for-opioid-reporting-violations/2017/01/11/4f217c44-d82c-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.d248d375b1fa

 

UCSOP Hosts DEA 360 Strategy Meeting

Exciting things are happening at UCSOP, in the Charleston community, and around the state of West Virginia! On January 25, 2017, UCSOP hosted the DEA 360 Strategy Meeting for Charleston, WV. This meeting served as the kick-off event in the 6th city for this nationwide initiative. The DEA 360 program focuses on heroin, prescription drugs, and violence within our communities. screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-2-04-33-pm

DEA 360 utilizes a three-fold approach to fight the drug epidemic in its pilot cities. This approach focuses on diversion control, law enforcement, and community outreach working together to make our cities safe and free of drugs! The ultimate goals of the 360 Strategy are to stop the deadly cycle of heroin and opioid drug abuse and addiction, partner with the medical community to increase awareness about the link between heroin and opioid use, and to strengthen community organizations to provide long-term support for this initiative.The basic components of the strategy are outlined below:

  • Coordinated Law Enforcement Operations: Focuses on DEA leadership with coordinated local law enforcement actions targeting all levels of drug trafficking, organizations, and violent gangs supplying drugs in our neighborhoods.
  • Enhanced Diversion Control: Increases engagement from drug manufacturers, wholesalers, practitioners, and pharmacists to increase awareness of the heroin and prescription drug problem. Pushes for responsible prescribing practices and safe use of these medications throughout the medical community.
  • Building Community Partnerships:  Community outreach and partnerships with local organizations following DEA enforcement actions to equip and empower communities with the tools to fight the heroin and prescription drug epidemic. Focuses on young people through after school programs, education, and media attention to this issue.

Overall, 200+ people from DEA (both local divisions and DEA Headquarters in Washington DC), community groups and organizations in Charleston, along with UCSOP faculty, staff, and student pharmacists attended the meeting! Be on the lookout for local television and radio adds about the program as well as a website designed specifically for our Charleston community. It’s time to “Wake Up Charleston”!

UCSOP Faculty and Students host a luncheon for DEA representatives after the meeting!

UCSOP Faculty and Students host a luncheon for DEA representatives after the meeting!

 

UCSOP Kicks off Radio Program on Medication Adherence & Safety

On February 1, 2017 the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy kicked off the first of a six-part Radio Blog Talk Series on Medication Safety and Adherence in partnership with Forest of the Rain Productions.

Script Your FutureEvery Wednesday from 8:30pm-9:30pm EST, February 1-March 8, 2017, the program will feature our students, faculty, staff and community partnership. We will be sharing information about medication adherence and highlighting our community efforts to promote medication safety.

The first show focused on the Script Your Future Campaign. Guests included our Dean, Dr. Michelle Easton and 2017 Script Your Future Chairs, David Poe (Class of 2018), Erik Hanson (Class of 2019), and Tyler Leroy (Class of 2020).  The show was recorded for rebroadcasting and download and can be accessed at: http://forestoftheraineducation.weebly.com/parent-talk-live-special-edition-series-safe-medication-use-script-your-future-medication-adherence-challenge.html

In total, UCSOP We has the potential to reach between 5,000 and 10,000 persons per show throughout the U.S. and in over 50 countries Worldwide.

Learn more about the series at: http://forestoftheraineducation.weebly.com/forest-of-the-rain-productions-and-the-university-of-charleston-school-of-pharmacy.html

 Future programs include: 

February 8: Generation Rx—Prescription Safety Education Partnership with Kanawha County Schools and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

Guests: Being Confirmed

February 15: Proper Medication Disposal

Guests: Rebekah Dunham, Class of 2017, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and Kristi Justice, Executive Director, Kanawha Communities that Care

February 22: The Nationwide Drug Epidemic & The Role of Medication Adherence with

Guests: Michael Brumage, MD, MPH, FACP, Executive Director/Health Officer, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department; Lindsay Acree, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; and Rachel Peaytt, Class of 2019, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

March 1: Medication Adherence & Safety–Focus on DEA 360 Program

Guests: David Gourley, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Agency, Charleston District Office; Victoria Oyewole & Amy Bateman, Class of 2018, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

March 8: Disease Management and Medication Adherence

Guests: Lindsay Acree, Pharm. D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; Kristy Lucas, Pharm.D., Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; Karrie Juengel, Pharm. D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy; and Anne Tiechmann, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy

 

Script Your Future – Smoking Cessation

Script Your Future

For many years, tobacco use has been the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and around the world. West Virginia is no exception. In fact, West Virginia ranks as one of the highest tobacco-using states in the country. Over 3,500 people die in WV each year from tobacco-related causes – this averages to about 10 persons per day dying from tobacco exposure. With that being said, our population of pregnant women who smoke is alarmingly high as well. According to the 2016 WV DHHR Report, 24.2% of pregnant women smoke in WV. Although this number has slightly decreased from recent years, WV continues to remain significantly above the the national average of 8.2%.

Not only does smoking increase mortality, it can also pose serious threats to one’s overall health as well. First and second-hand smoke have both been linked to worsening lung function and increasing respiratory disease in those exposed. Furthermore, smoking has been linked to cause and/or worsen gum disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, COPD, emphysema, and diabetes complications. For pregnant women who smoke, the risks are even higher. Smoking during pregnancy contributes to premature birth, birth defects, and infant death. If these physical negative effects are not enough, smoking-related illnesses costs over $300 billion dollars each year with nearly $170 billion of that being in direct medical costs. The combination of physical and economical detriments of smoking are clear reasons as to why smoking cessation is so important.

When a person stops smoking, the positive effects on their bodies begin almost instantaneously. Smoking cessation improves blood pressure, circulation, and lung function, to name a few. The good news is that it is never too late to quit! There are numerous resources available for those interested in smoking cessation. WV has several organizations who dedicate their time and efforts to smoking cessation in our communities, as well. Furthermore, doctors, pharmacists, and other health care professionals have the ability and knowledge to educate patients about the benefits of smoking cessation and how to get connected with the proper resources. UCSOP and the Script Your Future campaign encourages all persons to quit smoking and become educated on the risks it poses to your cardiovascular and respiratory health, especially.

If you or a loved one are interested in quitting smoking, you can visit www.wvquitline.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

You can also take the pledge to quit smoking at www.scriptyourfuture.org.

1-800-QUIT-NOW

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/index.html
  2. http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/News/2016/Pages/Rates-of-Smoking-during-Pregnancy-Show-Strong-Signs-of-Decline.aspx
  3. http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/wvdtp/Documents/DTP%202015%20Progress%20Report.pdf

Script Your Future: Asthma & Medication Adherence

Script Your Future

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways. It affects persons of all ages, but is more common in children. Some of the common signs/symptoms associated with asthma are wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath especially on exertion, and coughing. Although there is no cure for asthma, there are steps you can take to keep this condition under control!

The best way to manage your asthma is to take your medications properly. The most commonly used medications in the treatment of asthma are a combination of long-term and quick-relief (aka “rescue”) medications. Although these medications can be taken in a pill or tablet form, they are commonly administered through devices called inhalers and/or nebulizers. These long-term inhalers are used to deliver inhaled corticosteroids (e.g. albuterol) into the airways for the purpose of reducing airway inflammation and prevent symptoms from ever occurring. Short-acting or “rescue” medications are used to provide fast relief when symptoms do occur.

An Asthma Action Plan is a great tool to use in helping you manage your asthma appropriately. These worksheets help you keep track of your asthma symptoms and medications all in one convenient place. These plans describe your daily asthma care plan including what treatments to take and when. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to guide you in filling out the action plan and keep you on the right track. For all chronic conditions, asthma included, it is critical to take all of your medications as they are prescribed by your doctor!

For tips on how to use an inhaler or find a sample Asthma Action Plan, visit www.scriptyourfuture.org!

APhA-ASP Mid-Year Regional Meeting 2016

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The American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacist (APhA-ASP) held its Mid-Year Regional Meeting, or MRM, for Region II in Somerset, New Jersey from October 21st to 23rd  2016. It was composed of students from all over the world representing twenty different schools and colleges of pharmacy from the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The APhA-ASP officers, Shelly Ray, the Regional Meeting Coordinator from Rutgers University, Nimit Jidal, the Regional Delegate from Rutgers University, and Laura Byrd, the Regional Member At-Large from the University of Maryland Eastern, directed the conference through multiple programs. Some of the programs included speakers on leadership, networking, Generation Rx, and medication safety.

One of the highlights of the conference was an impassioned speech about the past of a former drug user from the recovery program of the College of New Jersey. This talk helped us realize the importance of health care providers in society, and the impact we as pharmacists can have on drug abusers. Then, the CEO of Walgreens and Manager of Walmart shared their experiences and challenged us to improve our leadership skills and shared their advice on how to become successful leaders in the pharmacy profession. Another CEO and successful owner of many pharmacies flew in from California to come and share advice regarding how to become a successful owner of a pharmacy, as well.

A career expo offered opportunities for attendees to meet with representatives from all over the country and learn more about different fellowships and post-graduate opportunities. Raffle tickets were given out along with games which added some excitement, levity, and encouraged networking with our fellow attendees through competition. Throughout the meeting, members who have contributed to the success of their home APhA-ASP chapters were recognized, and our own Rachel Peaytt, President-Elect, was recognized for her hard work for the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy APhA-ASP student organization. This meeting also provided an opportunity for various student chapters to propose their ideas on new policies which were then discussed and voted upon to be brought to attention at the national APhA-ASP with the intention to improve the field of pharmacy. This meeting allowed connection between APhA-ASP members, promoted the development of essential pharmacy skills, provided a chance to learn from successful leaders, and encouraged members to continue to contribute to the pharmacy community all while perpetuating the APhA message: “Together We Can.”

Pharmacy Students and Faculty Enjoy an Evening of Celebration

Contributed by: Jenny Long, Class of 2017

The spring semester at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is always full of celebration, with some of the most anticipated events being the Rites of Passage Ceremony, Honors & Awards, and the Pharmacy Gala. This spring, the Rites of Passage Ceremony was held on April 15th in the Geary Auditorium at UC, while the Pharmacy Gala was held immediately after the ceremony in the Rotunda and Erma Byrd Art Gallery.

 

P3 Seol Park poses for a picture with retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty

P3 Seol Park poses for a picture with retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty

The Rites of Passage Ceremony recognizes P3 students by presenting them with a pin to wear on their white coats as they end their didactic curriculum and start P4 rotations. Many P3s, including Renee Neidich, were honored to receive this recognition as a result of the hard work and dedication needed to receive it. “This pin may not look like much, but it shows three years of hard work, dedication, long days with sleepless nights, breakdowns and tears, and smiles and good times.”

The pin received at the Rites of Passage Ceremony not only represents the hard work students have put into their pharmacy school careers, it also signifies a new chapter in their lives for the upcoming school year. Renee says, “It signifies the end of my didactic (in class), years of pharmacy school and opens the road for the last leg of my journey: P4 rotations and a year packed with experience and learning. This pin may not look like much, but it means the world to me.”

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Faculty members Drs. Sarah Embrey, Karrie Juengel, Michelle Knight, and Alice Gahbauer strike a pose in the photo booth at the Pharmacy Gala.

In addition to the Rites of Passage, several students received awards and scholarships during the Honors & Awards Ceremony. Katie Oliver, a recipient of the Leadership Award and the Rita Carrico Memorial Scholarship, says that being awarded two scholarships was a highlight of the night. “Accepting two scholarships at The Rites of Passage Ceremony was a wonderful way to end my P3 year! Being recognized for the hours of hard work put into this curriculum, and experiencing that with my family, is a wonderful experience that I am grateful for.” Katie also says that the scholarship money rewarded at the Honors & Awards Ceremony will be helpful in paying for the expenses of the upcoming year of rotations. “I am so thankful for the scholarships and opportunities provided to me, as they will help immensely during my P4 clinical rotations.”

After the ceremony, students attended the Pharmacy Gala to enjoy a night of celebration with their classmates and families. This is the first year the event was held immediately after the Honors and Awards and Rites of Passage Ceremony, but Pharmacy Gala chair Sydney Bailey feels that the Pharmacy Gala was a great success. “I thought we had a great turnout and I think it was a great idea to have it right after the Honors and Awards and Rites of Passage Ceremony!”

P1 students Rachel Peaytt and Kathryn Howerton sign a picture to be gifted to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty.

P1 students Rachel Peaytt and Kathryn Howerton sign a picture to be gifted to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty.

Activities taking place at the Pharmacy Gala included signing a picture to give to retiring faculty member Dr. Dennis K. Flaherty, a DJ, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and a photo booth. According to Sydney, all of these activities were popular among students, “The rotunda turned out beautiful, and everyone seemed to love the decorations and photo booth!”

Planning the Pharmacy Gala was a great experience for Sydney, along with co-chair Linda Nguyen and committee members P1s Jasiris Boccheciamp, Nneoma Imo, Kelcey Duerson, and Sara Yagodich. “Planning the Pharmacy Gala this year was a lot of fun, and it was rewarding to see the event come together when the day finally arrived,” Sydney said. “I cannot wait to see what the future holds for upcoming Pharmacy Galas.”