Release Date: Thursday, February 06, 2014
Charleston, W.Va. - This February, an interdisciplinary student team from pharmacy, nursing, athletic training and other health professions from the University of Charleston are joining the national Script Your Future campaign to host a series of community outreach activities, raising awareness of the health consequences of not taking medication as directed.
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. The UC students join with health professions students across the country in the 2014 Medication Adherence Team Challenge, conducting activities throughout the month, as part of a national effort to educate consumers on the importance of medication adherence. Last year, UC won the National Challenge Award from Script Your Future for creating 12 new and innovative activities and resources, reaching over 6,000 consumers in the Charleston, West Virginia community.
“There are many reasons why people don’t take their medicine as directed, but the consequences for patients are the same,” said Dr. Michelle Easton, Dean of the UC School of Pharmacy. “Non-adherence puts patients, especially those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, at risk for serious complications.”
The students are supported by the Script Your Future campaign, a national coalition of more than 130 public and private stakeholder organizations, led by the National Consumers League (NCL). The campaign provides tools to help patients and health care professionals better communicate about ways to improve medication adherence. 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), American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), sponsors of the Challenge and campaign partners, are leading efforts to engage the next generation of health professionals in the campaign.
“The success of the Script Your Future Adherence Challenge over the last two years demonstrates the power of student pharmacists to collaborate with their health profession counterparts to reach out to their communities and engage patients and caregivers to improve health through better adherence," said Dr. Lucinda L. Maine, Executive Vice President and CEO at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. “This year’s Challenge continues to build on the strength of the inter-professional health care team to move the needle on medication adherence.”
Student pharmacists at the University of Charleston will engage in a number of activities aimed at increasing medication adherence in Charleston, the Kanawha Valley and the state as a whole, including:
- Information tables and materials at UC home basketball games on February 6, 13, 20 & 22, 2014
- A “Go Red” Community Event to be held at the UC School of Pharmacy on February 7, 2014 from 1-3:30 p.m.
- Health Fairs at the Town Center Mall and Kanawha Mall in February 2014
- A Community Health Fair on February 11, 2014, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Rotunda at the University of Charleston. This fair will include free health screenings for body mass index (BMI), blood glucose, blood pressure, bone density and more. In addition, healthy living activities including Wii Fit adventures, smoking cessation tips, asthma education and chair massage will be provided.
- A cartoon contest for all UC students focused on the theme of medication adherence.
- Student produced videos promoting medication adherence.
- Distribution of pledge cards and materials to area pharmacies, restaurants and churches.
At the end of the Challenge, select schools or colleges will be recognized nationally for their efforts to improve medication adherence. In 2013, the 18th Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Regina Benjamin, presented the student winners with their awards at a ceremony in Washington, DC
To learn more about the campaign, visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org. The winners of the Challenge will be announced later this spring.