National Consumers League

National Consumers League announces winners of seventh annual Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge


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May 31, 2018

Contest saw participation by 73 health profession schools hosting 350+ events in 17 states and reaching 1.5 million consumers nationwide

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC — Today, the National Consumers League (NCL) and its partners announced the winners of the seventh annual Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a competition designed to engage health profession students and faculty across the nation by encouraging teams to develop creative ideas, events, and initiatives to raise public awareness about the importance of medication adherence. This year’s winners are University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Touro University California College of Pharmacy, and Pacific University School of Pharmacy.

The 2018 Medication Adherence Team Challenge is part of the national Script Your Future public awareness campaign coordinated by NCL with support from its partners and the Challenge sponsors—the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). “The Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge continues to be an innovative method for our future healthcare professionals to engage with their local communities,” said Executive Vice President and CEO at AACP Dr. Lucinda L. Maine. “The communications and events held in these communities provide essential information and strategies for patients to improve their medication adherence and ultimately their health outcomes.”

Research shows that nearly three out of four Americans do not take their medications as directed. This may lead to devastating results, particularly for people with chronic conditions. National health advocacy leaders have recognized poor medication adherence, the outcome of which leads to more than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and at least 125,000 U.S. deaths each year, as a public health priority. Improved medication adherence leads to better health outcomes and reduced total healthcare costs, and it was for these reasons that NCL launched the Script Your Future awareness campaign in 2011. The Team Challenge was established as a way to extend campaign messages into medical and other health profession schools, and to nurture adherence-minded values in future generations of professionals entering the workplace.

“Once again, the robust outreach the student teams conducted to promote medication adherence in their communities was not only impressive, but also highlighted the integral role the entire health professional team plays in achieving positive health outcomes,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “We continue to be encouraged by the collaboration and creativity of the next generation of healthcare professionals and are honored to provide a platform in the Team Challenge that promotes an interprofessional approach to quality, adherence-minded care.”

Top performing teams are honored with a National Award for overall outstanding team achievement, or a Focused Award, which recognizes outstanding team achievement in the specific areas of health disparities/under-represented community outreach, media/communications outreach, or creative interprofessional team event. This year, the Script Your Future National Awards went to the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. This is the third win in a row for the University of Charleston, and the first National Award win for University of the Sciences, who was recognized as the Rookie Award winner last year. The focused awardees were: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (Health Disparities), University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy (Creative Inter-professional Team Event), and Touro University California College of Pharmacy (Media Outreach). Finally, the Rookie Award—which recognizes an outstanding team in their first or second year of the Challenge—went to Pacific University School of Pharmacy.

“The Script Your Future Team Challenge is the perfect vehicle to inspire the imaginative thinking that is going to drive greater medication adherence, which in turn will produce better health outcomes, while lowering overall spending,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “Pharmacists are clinically-trained medication experts. They should and do play a prominent role in this event. We applaud all the Script Your Future participants for their efforts and suspect that some of their ideas will gain traction with a larger audience going forward.”

This year, more than 3,000 future healthcare professionals and volunteers held more than 350 events in 17 states, directly counseled more than 14,000 patients, and exposed 1.5 million consumers nationwide to Script Your Future messaging. Since the Challenge began in 2011, more than 15,000 future healthcare professionals have directly counseled nearly 65,000 patients and reached more than 24.5 million consumers.

“The Script Your Future campaign provides an opportunity to engage student communities in developing collaborative, interprofessional teams to address medication non-adherence and improve population health. This initiative continues to advance patient care and foster collaboration all across the country. The NACDS Foundation is proud to be a part of this unique opportunity for students to share their talents and make a difference in their communities,” said NACDS Foundation President Kathleen Jaeger. 

“Pharmacists are medication experts, and nearly all Americans live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy. Yet, almost 50 percent of people prescribed medications for chronic diseases do not take their medication correctly. Pharmacist-provided care services help improve adherence and optimize the effects of prescription medications. The Medication Adherence Team Challenge increases awareness of the pharmacist’s role, promotes interdisciplinary care teams, and, most importantly, helps patients,” said APhA CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA.

The recognized schools, selected from dozens of applications and 73 participating educational institutions, are listed below.

National Challenge Award: University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Charleston, WV
The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy partnered with the University’s Nursing Program, Physician Assistant Program, several student organizations, and numerous community partners to sponsor 34 innovative medication adherence events. In addition to directly counseling nearly 2,000 patients, the team expanded their reach beyond West Virginia, reaching more than 33,000 people via social media, collecting over 3,000 “I Will” pledges through online and in-person distribution, and hosting a BlogTalk radio series that reached more than 200,000 people. The team also coordinated a Pharmacist’s Day at the Legislature, where 280 student pharmacists educated more than 1,500 legislators and Capitol guests on the importance of medication adherence and provided point-of-care testing. In addition to interventions addressing cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes, many of the Charleston team’s activities focused on educating the community on prescription drug misuse and abuse, given West Virginia’s opioid crisis. These activities included providing naloxone training to high school students, and continuing their “Generation Rx” program, which educated 300 elementary school students on medication adherence, medication safety, and proper medication disposal.

National Challenge Award: University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Philadelphia, PA
University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (USciences) continued to build upon their award-winning work from last year, reaching nearly 8,000 people through 19 community events and social media outreach. Students from USciences’ Colleges of Pharmacy and Health Sciences comprised the interprofessional team. In addition, they partnered with Temple University’s Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, medical, physician assistant, and nursing students from Drexel University and Jefferson University, along with several community organizations. The team directly counseled over 600 patients, collected over 600 “I Will” pledges, and expanded upon the medication adherence wallet cards by creating a larger, color-coded medication schedule to aid patients with physical or visual impairments in appropriate medication administration. Other activities included regular patient education tables at Sunray Drugs, Philadelphia’s largest cohort of independent pharmacies; inclusion in the West Philadelphia Weekly newspaper; visits to assisted living facilities in the Philadelphia region; and participation in numerous health fairs, including the “Know Your Numbers” Men’s Health Initiative of 2018, Philadelphia’s largest screening event for men. The team also created two excellent videos: one highlighting their outreach efforts during the Challenge, and a PSA emphasizing the importance of medication adherence.   

National Challenge Award: Finalists
The following schools were named Finalists under the National Award category: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy (LECOM), Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, Touro University California College of Pharmacy, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

Rookie Award: Pacific University School of Pharmacy, Hillsboro, OR
Pacific University School of Pharmacy, in conjunction with the university’s College of Optometry and Schools of Graduate Psychology and Dental Hygiene, made an excellent showing in their second year of competing in the Team Challenge. Their activities included participation in several health fairs, outreach to psychology and optometry clinics, an excellent animated video about the importance of medication adherence, and the distribution of Script Your Future wallet cards at “Potluck in the Park,” a program that serves free hot meals and other services to the transient population in Portland.  

Rookie Award Finalist: South College School of Pharmacy, Knoxville, TN
South College School of Pharmacy in Knoxville, TN also made a very strong showing in the Team Challenge as a first-time competitor.  

FOCUSED AWARDS
Health Disparities/Under-represented Community Outreach Award: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), Erie, PA and Bradenton, FL
Pharmacy, medical, nursing, and dental students from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) addressed barriers to medication adherence through robust outreach to pediatric, elderly, and homeless populations in Erie (PA) and Manatee (FL) Counties. LECOM’s efforts included participation in the “Give Kids a Smile” event, which targets children from low-income families with no access to dental care or dental insurance; the “Project Rainbow” event which promotes safe medication use for pediatric patients with disabilities, presentations to seniors in retiree homes and mobile home parks; and providing blood pressure and glucose screenings for the homeless.

Communication and Media Outreach Award: Touro University California College of Pharmacy, Vallejo, CA
This year’s Media/Communications Outreach Award went to Touro University California College of Pharmacy, who through several media platforms reached close to 10,000 people. Touro’s team produced an exceptional animated video educating patients, friends, and caregivers on how to broach the subject of medication adherence. The team also educated thousands of people through social media and published an Op-Ed providing tips for caregivers and patients with chronic disease to use when speaking to a healthcare provider.

Creative Inter-Professional Team Event Award: University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Pittsburgh, PA 
The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy partnered with every health and science school at their institution -- including the Schools of Dental Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work -- to conduct several outstanding events that raised the importance of adherence in their community. In addition to patient counseling and point-of-care testing, other activities included tabling in various inpatient and outpatient locations, distributing pill boxes, conducting medication reconciliations, and participation in the University’s SilverScripts program, which targets the geriatric population in Pittsburgh. Ultimately, the team conducted over 2,000 one-on-one patient encounters.

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About Script Your Future
Launched in 2011, Script Your Future is a campaign of the National Consumers League (NCL), a private, non-profit membership organization founded in 1899. NCL’s mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. As an advocacy organization, NCL is working to educate consumers and key health stakeholders on the importance of taking medication as directed. For more information about the Script Your Future campaign, visit ScriptYourFuture.org. For more information on NCL, please visit nclnet.org.