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LECOM Pharmacy Students Take Top Honors in Script Your Future Medication Adherence Challenge

A month long program of patient-education has earned the students of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) School of Pharmacy one of the top awards in the nationwide Medication Adherence Challenge.

Janene Madras, B.S. Pharm, Pharm.D., BCPS addresses the media and announces LECOM as the award winner in the nationwide Medication Adherence Challenge. Joining her are second year pharmacy students Daniel O’Neil (L) and Matt Madurski (R).

The National Consumers League (NCL), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) selected the LECOM students among the awardees of the first-ever Script Your Future Medication Adherence Challenge for student pharmacists.

The Medication Adherence Challenge is part of a public awareness campaign launched in 2011 by NCL with more than 100 public and private stakeholder organizations, including NACDS Foundation and AACP. The campaign, titledScript Your Future seeks to raise awareness with patients about the importance of taking medication as directed.

The National Challenge Award went to the LECOM student pharmacists who conducted an educational campaign in Erie, Pa. and Bradenton, Fla., during National Pharmacist Month in October. During October, students provided more than 2,000 patient informational sessions to children, adolescents, adults and seniors. They developed a special Facebook page for the campaign and provided a link to the Script Your Future medication reminders program, where individuals can sign up for text message medication alerts. The students extended their Script Your Future efforts to include the HIV/AIDS community.

Melinda Buchanan (P3), Katherine Tromp, Pharm.D and Shinelle Pierre (P3) spearheaded the Script Your Future campaign in Bradenton, Fla.

Led by Student Government Leaders Matthew Madurski and Dan O’Neil, the Erie students also held a Health Fair in Meadville, Pa., and conducted Medication Adherence Awareness Day at the Therapeutic Riding Equestrian Center in Erie, where disabled children rode horses, while the student pharmacists talked with their caretakers about the importance of taking medication as prescribed. The students also collected thousands of unwanted medications during a drug take-back day. Pharmacy students Shinelle Pierre and Melinda Buchanan spearheaded the effort in Bradenton.

“As LECOM students, we have a unique opportunity to interact with the community and apply the lessons we learn in the classroom while helping to serve the health needs of the public,” said Madurski. “ Script Your Future allowed our classmates in Erie and Bradenton to work together and develop programs and materials to educate the public, and we’re grateful for the recognition we’re receiving for the hard work we put into this effort.”

“This award brings national recognition to the LECOM School of Pharmacy,” said Janene Madras, Pharm.D., Director of Admissions and Student Services and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the LECOM School of Pharmacy. “The Script Your Future Campaign was an effort that brought together students and faculty from the Erie and Bradenton campuses for one purpose, which was to promote medication adherence.”

LECOM School of Pharmacy Dean, Hershey S. Bell, M.D., said the College is extremely proud of the hard work and extended hours that the pharmacy students put into this project.

Nearly three out of four Americans don’t take their medications as directed and the results can be devastating, particularly for people with chronic conditions. More than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and almost 125,000 deaths in the United States each year are due to people not taking their medicine as directed. Medication adherence can lead to improved health and reduced total healthcare costs.

The Challenge is a coordinated initiative to engage student pharmacists in a public education effort on the importance of helping patients with chronic diseases take their medications as directed. More than 40,000 student pharmacists educated more than 250,000 individuals nationwide during the month of October in this concerted public effort about the importance of medication adherence.