Raising Awareness for Medication Adherence

Published on 11 October 2017

St. Louis College of Pharmacy was named as a finalist for the sixth annual “Script Your Future” Medication Adherence Team Challenge, presented by the National Consumers League (NCL) and its partners – the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the American Pharmacists Association.

The challenge was established to educate future health care professionals on how to help patients understand why failing to use medication as prescribed is detrimental to treatment. The College was one of eight finalists recognized out of 66 health profession schools for promoting medication adherence in the local community through programming and events.

“Teams are evaluated based on a number of factors including creativity, interprofessional team composition, program interventions and overall impact on medication adherence awareness in their communities,” said Karin Bolte, J.D., director of health policy at NCL.

The College’s team consisted of P4 students Darcy Holzum and Jasmine Carpenter, as well as students from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College and students from Washington University in St. Louis. Amy Tiemeier, B.S. ’01, Pharm.D. ’02, director of community partnerships, associate director of experiential education and associate professor of pharmacy practice, served as the faculty advisor.

“St. Louis College of Pharmacy had a strong interprofessional team and conducted innovative outreach events at the Saint Louis Science Center, local public libraries and area health fairs,” Bolte said. “The team also placed an emphasis on reaching minority populations by hosting events geared toward Chinese and Ethiopian populations in St. Louis.”

The team partnered with existing programs sponsored by the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, the Asian-Pacific American Medical Student Association at Washington University and the Saint Louis Science Center to expand its reach within the community.

“As future pharmacists, we will be responsible for implementing adherence strategies in order to improve the health outcomes of patients in our community,” P4 student Jasmine Carpenter said. “Medication adherence is a critical part of achieving control, treating and preventing the worsening of chronic disease states.”

The team offered free blood pressure and glucose screenings at various community events. They also encouraged patients to take their medications as prescribed and answered questions about conditions that are prevalent in the community.

“In order to correct issues, we need to speak to patients about the importance of medication adherence and the consequences of being non-adherent to medication regimens,” Carpenter said. “By reaching out, we are not only encouraging patients to take their medications as prescribed, but also helping them take control of their health, improve their quality of life, and decrease their overall health care expenses.”

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