Local Universities Launch Month-Long Outreach to Improve Medication Adherence in Baltimore

Johns Hopkins University Nursing and Medical Schools, Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy and University of Maryland School of Pharmacy join national campaign to raise awareness about the urgency of medication adherence for chronic condition patients

This month, an interdisciplinary student team from pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and other health professions from Johns Hopkins University, Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy will kick off a series of community outreach activities in Baltimore to raise awareness about the health consequences of not taking medication as directed.  They will join with health professions students across the country in the 2013 Medication Adherence Team Challenge, conducting activities throughout the month as part of a national effort to educate consumers on the importance of medication adherence, or 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 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, which also has a local Baltimore coalition, 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), sponsors of the Challenge and campaign partners, are leading efforts to engage the next generation of health professionals in the campaign.

Johns Hopkins nursing, medical and public health students are teaming up with Notre Dame pharmacy students to plan and conduct a series of events throughout the month, including:

·         On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, cards will be delivered to faculty, staff and students at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Nursing and Notre Dame of Maryland University as the culmination of a collaborative project between the schools.

- Hosting a patient resource table at Towson Town Center on Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the Level 1 Grand Court.
- On Feb. 23, students will have a resource table at the Bmore Healthy Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center.

University of Maryland School of Pharmacy students will be teaming up with students from the University of Maryland Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Law and will be out in the community talking to patients at several planned events, including:

- On Feb. 1, students kicked off the challenge by speaking to patients about their medications at five Baltimore City Shopper’s Pharmacy locations.
- Hosting a table at the Lexington Market Health Fair on Friday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In the inaugural year of the Challenge, more than 40,000 student pharmacists educated over 250,000 individuals nationwide during the month of October 2011 in this concerted public effort about the importance of medication adherence. Last year’s awardees, selected from 81 participating colleges and schools of pharmacy, included the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Harding University College of Pharmacy, Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy, and University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy. To learn more about last year’s winners visit the Script Your Future website.

“The success of the first Script Your Future Adherence Challenge in October 2011 demonstrated the power of student pharmacists 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 will emphasize the inter-professional health care team and what each member of the health care team needs to do to move the needle on medication adherence.”

To learn more about the campaign, go to www.ScriptYourFuture.org. The winners of the Challenge will be announced later this spring.

Script Your Future is a campaign of the National Consumers League (NCL), a private, non-profit membership organization founded in 1899. For more information about the Script Your Future campaign, visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org.  For more information on NCL, please visit www.nclnet.org.


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