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5 posts from January 2013


CER Lectures and program

University of the Sciences is hosting an informative three-part lecture series focusing on Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER).  The aim of the lecture series is to introduce the campus to the concept of CER and build a foundation of knowledge.  The lectures scheduled for January 30th, February 28th and March 28th.  The topics include CER and health information technology, CER and the use of real-world data and the future of CER.  Speakers include Dr. Jean-Paul Gagnon, Dr. Marcus Wilson and Dr. Sandy Schwartz.  All lectures will be held on campus.  For more information on the lecture series, go here.

This lecture series is a prelude to Mayes' College annual Making the Connections  program.  The Making the Connections program will highlight a panel of speakers from the pharmaceutical industry, payers, providers and patients who will be speaking about the impact of CER on their sector of health care.  The  Making the Connections program will be held April 16th, from 5:30-7:30 at USciences campus.


New Medication Bottles and Labels Improve Patient Compliance/Adherence

So does a new and improved label for a prescription bottle really improve patient compliance?  Similarly, does a flattened (versus a round) bottle make a patient take their medication more consistently? Would having all medications packaged in a blister pak alleviate the ailment of medication forgetfullness?   This Wall Street Journal article suggests that it does.  In fact, the research it points to does show that there is improved medication taking behavior.  But hold on, for those patients on multiple medications multiple times a day, would having 5-10 different sets of blister packs really help?  It might, but then again so would a well designed pill box with the days/times labeled and a translucent cover so that you can see if the medications were taken or not fairly readily.  These inexpensive boxes are reusable and do not increase the carbon footprint already associated with medications. 

As for the improve labels and bottles that are more easily readable - I am all for it!  As my eyes tire from writing this blog, I can only imagine how difficult it is to read the label on an 8 dram (very small) prescription bottle that is only ~2 inches high. 

My recommendation to anyone who takes a medication - be sure to incorporate it into your daily life - leave it near your toothbrush or take it with your meal (if OK with your pharmacist) or leave it by your bedside.  And if you need help on how to take your medication, ask your pharmacist. 

Pharmacy Student Capitalizes on Her Skills During Summer Internship


Unicel-Anne Flores PharmD’14 (fourth from left in the white shirt) posing with a few coworkers for an Olympic-inspired "fun" project. "The great thing about Pfizer was that they always had us engaged on work outside of our "work work"."

A summer internship at Pfizer made Unicel-Anne Flores PharmD’14 realize that her studies at University of the Sciences translated into real world outcomes. She encourages other students to consider the internship experience a pathway to gain even more experience. 

This past summer I had an amazing opportunity to work as a pharmacy intern for Pfizer in Madison, N.J. I worked under Dr. Mark Wingertzahn, the former OTC Upper Respiratory Medical Franchise Lead. As an intern, I looked up and researched articles based on products’ active and inactive ingredients, and I sat in on meetings to provide pharmaceutical input based on knowledge I acquired from school. I also had the opportunity to network and make new connections, as well as everlasting friendships.

After working for a top-notch pharmaceutical company for the summer, I realized that I had a lot to offer and I wasn't even out of college! With the knowledge I gained from classes like drug research and information with Dr. Leona Blustein and Dr. Gary Sloskey, I properly researched articles using search engines like Ovid and PubMed. I recognized whether or not given studies were considered "good" based on what I learned in biostatistics. The knowledge I obtained from Dr. Dan Hussar's non-prescription medication class was the basis of my summer. I took what I learned in this class and implemented it into the meetings and informational sessions held within the company. The information I had acquired in the last five years here at University of the Sciences’ Philadelphia College of Pharmacy made me an important asset to the team I worked with at Pfizer, and it had also opened my eyes to a world of opportunities.

Working at Pfizer helped me realize that there are so many opportunities in industry where this degree is utilized, such as clinical, regulatory, and even medical marketing. There are so many opportunities out there for pharmacy students, you just have to look! Don't limit yourself to community and hospital pharmacy internships because your degree can literally take you anywhere.


Earth: Our tiny enclave

Physics Professor Paul Halpern, author of "Edge of the Universe: A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond," writes that some of the most active advocates for peace have been scientists … (they) were among the scientific luminaries who worked tirelessly for global harmony. Perhaps their understanding of Earth's preciousness as the only known planet with life helped inspire their efforts.

Read more in the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Exercise Science & Wellness Management – is that even a major?

(sigh!) The all too often question we get from students and parents which demonstrates the lack of knowledge of this silently booming industry. Are you surprised to learn Exercise Science students take rigorous science courses such as Biology, Human Structure & Function, Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Kinesiology? This Exercise Science undergraduate major now becomes an ideal primer for graduate programs such as Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Exercise Science students learn how to conduct such health assessments as blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, air displacement plethysmography, pulse oximetry and biofeedback technology also preparing students for such graduate medical programs as Physician Assistants.

Even the health reform emphasizes preventive medicine! Many healthcare professionals are finally joining the national movement of Exercise is Medicine, “improving the health and well-being of our nation through a regular physical activity prescription from doctors and other health care providers.”

The Wall Street Journal affirms this choice major for landing a “plum job” whereas this “…profession [is] so popular that lawyers, dentists and English teachers are ditching those careers” for Kinesiology related opportunities. A plethora of opportunities are available for Kinesiology majors – corporate wellness director, exercise specialist, community recreation director, strength & conditioning coach, personal trainer, health educator and more!

At USciences Exercise Science is a growing major and THE most popular minor on campus with students of all majors constantly requesting to be admitted into Kinesiology courses. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Biology and even Pharmacy majors realize and appreciate the benefits of learning more about the science of exercise and overall wellness. EVERY profession is affected by wellness.  SO TAKE NOTE! Kinesiology is THE place to be in 2013!


Helliker, K. (2012, December 20). Stop mocking the gym majors. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324407504578187670274268876.html?KEYWORDS=kinesiology#articleTabs%3Darticle

Exercise is Medicine (n.d.). Retrieved from http://exerciseismedicine.org/physicians.htm



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