111 posts categorized "Pharmacy Practice"


USciences to Host Panel on LGBT Healthcare on April 1

LGBTStriving to address the healthcare needs in the LGBT community, University of the Sciences has teamed up with local nonprofit organizations to host its first Panel on LGBT Healthcare on Wednesday, April 1, from 7-9 p.m., in Griffith Hall (43rd Street at Woodland Avenue).

“This event is intended to bring together students and community members to learn more about the unique needs and challenges faced by the LGBT community in regards to accessing healthcare,” said AJ Young, coordinator of the event at USciences.

Panelists from ActionAIDS, Philadelphia FIGHT, Mazzoni Center, GALAEI, and the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) will give a brief overview of their organization’s work and mission, discuss current issues and pressing needs in LGBT healthcare, and share what they believe is important for future healthcare professionals to know about working with the LGBT community. There will also be time for questions from the audience.

Invited panelists, include:

  • Tiffany Thompson, Director, Youth-Health Empowerment Project at Philadelphia FIGHT
  • Elaine Dutton, Trans Clinical Services Coordinator, Mazzoni Center
  • Elicia Gonzalez, Executive Director, GALAEI
  • Jay Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator & PWA, ActionAIDS
  • Rosemary Daub, Medical Case Manager Coordinator, ActionAIDS
  • Han Meadway, Transportation Advocate, CARIE

“Our speakers are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate people in Philadelphia regarding LGBT issues, and they’re eager to highlight what future healthcare professionals should know to provide quality care that treats LGBT patients with respect and dignity, while addressing their unique and not-so-unique health concerns,” said Young.

This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served after the panel. For more information, contact Young at a.young@usciences.edu or 215.596.8734.


PCP Prof Honored at USciences 194th Founders’ Day Award Ceremony

Hewitt-1953University of the Sciences proudly recognized pharmaceutical sciences professor Adeboye Adejare, PhD, with the 2015 Founders’ Day Faculty Award of Merit during the University’s 194th Founders’ Day ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 19.

“Dr. Adejare is an accomplished researcher who has been widely published and nationally respected,” said Heidi M. Anderson, PhD, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “He truly exemplifies the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the USciences’ Founders.”

Since arriving at USciences in 2003, Dr. Adejare has been awarded four patents. Over the course of his extensive career, he has been the principal investigator or investigator on more than 30 grant and contract awards from the National Institutes of Health, as well as other government agencies and pharmaceutical companies. He was also the recipient of the highly-competitive 2014 Carnegie Corporation Fellowship.

Publishing more than 30 papers in prominent, peer-reviewed journals in the areas of pharmaceutical sciences, Dr. Adejare has provided the opportunity for USciences undergraduate and graduate students to coauthor many of those publications. He and his research group members have also been selected to give more than 100 presentations at professional meetings, including national and international conferences.  His research studies deal with trying to understand mechanisms of neurodegeneration as observed in Alzheimer's and similar diseases, as well as drug targeting and pharmaceutical profiling.

Each year, Founders’ Day at USciences recognizes its establishment on Feb. 23, 1821, as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy — the first college of pharmacy in North America, which is now a part of USciences. As part of the ceremony, an honorary degree of science was presented to Carol Buchalter on behalf of her late husband, Martin P’55. Just eight years after earning his pharmacy degree from USciences, Martin Buchalter revolutionized the medical application of ultrasound by developing an easy-to-use transmission gel that once applied to the patient’s skin, provided the medium that the ultrasound waves needed to enter body tissue.

For more information, visit the University’s Founders’ Day webpage at usciences.edu/foundersday.  Click to see Founders' Day: Photos | Video.


PCP Students Named Among 'Faces of Philly's Top Internships'

Three pharmacy students from University of the Sciences were featured among the Faces of Philadelphia's Top Internships – a list published by NerdScholar, a California-based non-profit aimed at helping students and their parents make the best decisions about their higher education.

This list included 18 students from colleges and universities across the United States who held summer or fall internships in the Philadelphia region.

Here are the 'Faces' from University of the Sciences:

Ann Dao
Ann Dao PharmD'16
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Richa Shah
Richa Shah PharmD'16
Pfizer Consumer Healthcare


Mehreen Dharsee
Mehreen Dharsee PharmD'16
Janssen Pharmaceuticals




Medication Adherence and Hospital Readmissions

Whether patients are getting medications, seeing a primary care provider, discharged from a hospital, or getting emergency care, they are being shifted between different health care providers. Transitions of care is an important aspect of healthcare because it allows smooth movement of patients from one setting to another.

Transitioning from the hospital to home can be difficult for patients, potentially leading to readmission if the transition is not well coordinated. Kirkham conducted a retrospective cohort study in two acute care hospitals in the United States to see the effect of a collaborative pharmacist-hospital care transition care program on the likelihood of 30-day readmission rates. The two-year study showed patients who did not receive bedside delivery of post discharge medications and follow-up telephone calls were twice as likely to be readmitted within 30 days of discharged than those who did receive these services. For patients greater than 65 years of age, the pharmacist transition of care resulted in a six-fold decrease in 30-day readmission rates. As this study shows, a transition of care program can be associated with a lower likelihood of readmission and pharmacist participation can be of significant benefit.  

A study conducted by Bellone reviewed 131 patients aged 18 to 65 on at least three prescription medications. The intervention group consisted of patients that pharmacists visited within 60 days of discharge to provide medication counseling or dosage adjustments, while the control group did not receive any intervention. The intervention group had an 18.2% hospital readmission rate compared to 43.1% in the control group (P = 0.002).  Pharmacists can optimize medication adherence during transitions of care to reduce readmission rates. The American Pharmacist Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists released a Medication Management in Care Transitions Project to display popular models from across the country that improve patient outcomes by involving pharmacists in medication-related transitions of care. Some of the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists in these practices include: medication reconciliation, counseling on medication therapy, contacting the patient’s home for follow-up, preparing medications etc. Through these interventions pharmacists are involved in patient care from inpatient to home settings.

Transition of care pharmacists can be a beneficial aspect in the health care system. By providing appropriate interventions, pharmacists can decrease the likelihood of hospital readmission.

Urvi Patel, PharmD ‘16


PCP Announces Live APhA Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Training Program at USciences

The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences 
Announces Live APhA Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Training Programs 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

University of the Sciences, Wilson Hall, Rooms 208-2011
600 S. 43rd St., Philadelphia

 For pharmacists interested in becoming licensed to provide immunizations in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and New York

Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery is an innovative and interactive training program that teaches pharmacists the skills necessary to become a primary source for vaccine information and administration. The program teaches the basics of immunology and focuses on practice implementation and legal/regulatory issues.

The purpose of this educational program:

  1. Provide comprehensive immunization education and training
  2. Provide pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to establish and promote a successful immunization service
  3. Teach pharmacists to identify at-risk patient populations needing immunizations
  4. Teach pharmacists to administer immunizations in compliance with legal and regulatory standards

Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery certificate training program is a practice-based activity conducted in two parts – a self-study learning component and a live training seminar. A Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all program components.  

Key learning objectives for the live training seminar:

  • Identify opportunities for pharmacists to become involved in immunization delivery.
  • Describe how vaccines evoke an immune response and provide immunity.
  • Identify the vaccines available on the U.S. market for each vaccine-preventable disease and classify each vaccine as live attenuated or inactivated.
  • Outline the target groups for vaccination based on the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices recommendations.
  • Review patients’ medical and immunization histories and determine vaccine recommendations based on current immunization schedules.
  • Outline the steps involved in establishing a pharmacy-based immunization delivery program. 
  • Discuss the legal, regulatory, and liability issues involved with pharmacy-based immunization programs.
  • Describe the signs and symptoms of adverse reactions that can occur after vaccination and the emergency procedures for management of patients with adverse reactions to vaccination.
  • Describe the appropriate technique for administration of the live attenuated influenza vaccine.
  • Demonstrate appropriate intramuscular and subcutaneous injection technique for adult immunization.

 For a more complete list of program learning objectives, please go to APhA’s website, www.pharmacist.com/ctp.  

Seminar Agenda

Morning (Registration/Check-in and Continental Breakfast)

  • Welcome, Introductions and Acknowledgements
  • Program Overview
  • The Importance of Vaccines and The Pharmacist’s Role in Vaccine Delivery
  • How Do Vaccines Prevent Disease?
  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (Part I)

Morning Break

  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (Part II)
  • Identifying Vaccination Needs


  • Establishing a Pharmacy-Based Immunization Program
  • Practice Implementation

Afternoon Break

  • Adverse Events Following Vaccination and Emergency Preparedness
  • Vaccine Administration Technique
  • Transitional/ Summary Remarks
  • Skills Training and Assessment


  • Jean Scholtz, PharmD, BCPS, FASHP
  • Karleen Melody, PharmD, BCACP
  • Henry Schwartz, PharmD, CDE

Click here to Register: Download PCP APhA Immunization Program_USciences  


Medication Adherence In Patients with Depression

Depression is a mental disorder that has an unknown cause. There are many explanations for developing depression including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological features. Signs and symptoms of depression vary from minimal to severe. Indication that someone may need medication to regulate his or her mood include the following symptoms: persistent sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, irritable mood, loss of interest, feelings of guilt, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.

There are a variety of classes of medications used for depression, but they all need to be given an adequate trial of about twelve weeks to see if the medication is efficacious. Roughly fifty percent of patients prematurely discontinue antidepressant therapy.  There are serious outcomes if medication is not taken including suicide. A systemic review by Chong evaluated the impact of education and behavioral interventions on antidepressant medication adherence and depression disease progression. This review showed patient education alone did not improve medication adherence rates; however, when used with behavioral changes and multifaceted interventions, adherence rates and depression outcomes improved. Behavioral and multifaceted interventions include education, telephone follow-up, medication support, and communication with primary care providers. For this reason, it is crucial to have pharmacist intervention when dealing with antidepressants to provide proper counseling on the medication to lead to better insight on the medication as well as intervene on proper behavioral changes.

Pharmacists can help increase outcomes of depressed patients by counseling them on their medication. Antidepressants are different than other medications because they need a longer period of time to feel it working. This presents as an issue for patients because they do not feel the need to take a medication that is not helping them feel better instantaneously. Also, patients might think they do not need a medication if they are starting to feel better.  Pharmacists should explain to the patient that it takes antidepressants at least two weeks to take effect. Patients should also be informed that there are common side effects associated with these medications and it is important to continue taking antidepressants for at least six to nine months to prevent reoccurrence of depression.

Because there are many negative side effects of depression, it is important to manage it with appropriate medications. Due to their expertise on antidepressants, pharmacists can counsel patients on what to expect, the onset of action, and duration of use for these medications. Through patient education, behavioral changes, and multifaceted interventions patients can have better outcomes for their depression.

Urvi Patel, PharmD 2016


Students 'Walked to End Alzheimer's Disease' on Nov. 9

ASCP at walk to end alzMembers of the student chapter of American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) at University of the Sciences participated in the Alzheimer's Association's Walk to End Alzheimer's on Sunday, Nov.9, at Citizens Bank Park. 

“Our student-chapter provides opportunities for pharmacy students to learn ways to help the elderly manage their medications and see the potential for careers in senior care pharmacy," said alumna Laura Ginn, now an adjunct associate professor of pharmacy practice and ASCP advisor at USciences. "Students also volunteered to register walkers to become advocates for the Alzheimer's Association."

The following students, pictured above from left to right, participated in the Alzheimer's walk: Teresa Alvarez Moreno, Sara Skoritowski, Laura Finn, Romy Shah, Dorothy Krzyworzeka, Katlyn Spivak, Peter Pham, Vivek Shah, Paige Laupheimer, Isabel Papraniku, and Christina Ly. 

The USciences ASCP student chapter supports proper medication management for older adults. Activities for which members are involved, include working with senior centers to provide medication education on adherence, adult immunizations and medication safety, as well as inter-generational activities. 

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregiver Month. Learn more about the mission to end Alzheimer’s disease at alz.org.


Students Prepared for Bioterrorist Attack During Medical Reserve Corps Training

Left to right: Alex Fevry PharmD'17, Soonyip Alec Huang PharmD'17, Khiem Huynh PharmD'17, and Ami Patel PharmD'17

A team of eight student-pharmacists from University of the Sciences joined more than 150 new volunteers with the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps as they acted out a bioterrorist attack which required them to administer antibiotics to thousands of Philadelphians to help prevent the spread of a deadly bacterial infection.

This dramatic, but informational, training session was held at USciences on Saturday, Nov. 8, for these credentialed volunteers – who are typically seen providing medical care and first aid after major storms, or at large city events such as the Philadelphia Marathon.

“Bringing together such a diverse group of local healthcare professionals and students was a positive experience which reinforced USciences’ mission of promoting integrated learning and professionalism,” said Steven Sheaffer, PharmD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy.  

Although Dr. Sheaffer has been a member of the Medical Reserve Corps since 2007, he said regularly attends training sessions to keep up to speed with relief efforts and build stronger relationships with healthcare professionals across the Philadelphia region.

“I hope that more of our students across all disciplines consider attending future training programs and join the Medical Reserve Corps,” he said.

Aside from USciences pharmacy students and faculty, other volunteers at the training session included medical and doctoral students from University of Pennsylvania, nurses, as well as students and faculty from other local universities.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the mailing of anthrax-tainted letters to news media and U.S. senators painfully illustrated the need for more organized use of medical volunteers.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health launched the city’s unit in 2005, after Congress allocated money to establish the Medical Reserve Corps program office in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. Philadelphia’s chapter now boasts more than 1,800 volunteers who offer their medical, pharmaceutical, behavioral health, and other skills.

“I wanted to volunteer for the medical corps to use my pharmacy education in way that allows me to give back to the community,” said Alex Fevry PharmD’17.

Media coverage:


USciences Student Leadership Opportunities

By Mehreen Dharsee PharmD’16, PCP Student Council member

As a fifth-year pharmacy student, I can say my experience at University of the Sciences has equipped me well in pursuing my goals.  The pharmacy field appealed to me because it combined my interests of science and helping others. During high school and early college years, I was hesitant to hold leadership positions; however, in my third year, I decided to run for presidency of Circle K, the community service organization on campus. A majority of students at USciences will enter careers where they will be helping patients every day.  I believed providing students with opportunities to help and interact with those in the Philadelphia community would serve as a jumpstart to their careers.

As Circle K president, I delegated tasks to the various executive board (e-board) members and followed up to completion. Establishing timelines and assigning tasks based off members’ strengths was essential. Additionally, constant communication and considering input from all members attributed to the success of the various events.

Circle K was involved volunteering at fundraisers and walks, canned food drives, and creating decorations for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  We also volunteered with the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy during holidays. A personal favorite of many students and mine was the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. Approximately 20 students attended the walk and interacted with breast cancer survivors and their families.  Our group participated in volunteering with registration, handing out drinks and snacks to runners, and preparing gift bags for survivors. Several students stated that this was one of their favorite experiences at USciences thus far, and I was happy that Circle K was able to coordinate this event.

I gained skills such as time management, problem solving, communication, and delegation as Circle K President.  This leadership position was the foundation for my involvement in other organizations on campus such as PCP Student Council, American Pharmacist’s Association, as well as off-campus experiences. The skills and experiences as president of an organization are invaluable and will be utilized throughout my remaining years at USciences, as well as my career. A suggestion to all, do not hesitate to get involved on campus. A leadership position is not only educational, but also enjoyable and rewarding. It will help you reach your full potential no matter what career path you choose.


Chronic Medication Adherence: Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans. It is a group of metabolic disorder characterized by persistent hyperglycemia. Early diagnosis and proper treatment is important to reduce complications such as coronary artery disease, blindness, and loss of sensation. However, as stated by Dr. C. Everett Koop “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.”

Diabetes is one the leading causes of death. It is very important to eat a healthy diet especially with this disease. Patients who have diabetes should be encouraged to modify their diet to include more vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, poultry, and fish. A study done to see the correlation of self-monitoring of blood glucose to weight loss by doing a weight loss intervention showed increased self-monitoring of blood glucose and greater weight loss was achieved through better adherence to diet. The authors concluded self-monitoring of blood glucose leads to increased adherence to diet. Also, patients that were educated about the impact of diet on weight loss, showed increase adherence to diet and better glucose control.

A retrospective literature search was conducted by Cramer to assess the adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin products and its effect on glycemic control in diabetes patients. In this systematic analysis, she found that electronic monitoring was effective in identifying patients who were poorly adherent.   The study showed that electronic monitoring systems can be used to increase adherence by providing health care providers the information needed to identify patients than need interventions.

Pharmacists today use electronic monitoring through computerized programs that measure adherence rates such as refill rates. There are many ways pharmacists can intervene to increase adherence rates with chronic medications, such as oral hypoglycemic medications. Non-adherence can be detrimental to patients, so pharmacists can intervene by counseling newly diagnosed individuals of the benefits of taking their medication properly and the risks that may occur if medication is not taken. Also, pharmacists can review adherence rates with patients to identify reasons why patients may not be taking their medications. If patients cannot tolerate certain medications, or cannot follow directions appropriately, pharmacists can suggest other products.

The cost of not taking medications is high in patients with chronic medications, so it is important that pharmacists and patients work together to create a regimen that is most beneficial.


Urvi Patel, PharmD’16

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