106 posts categorized "Pharmacy Practice"

11/21/2014

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

11/18/2014

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.

11/10/2014

Students Prepared for Bioterrorist Attack During Medical Reserve Corps Training

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:

11/04/2014

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.

10/30/2014

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

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

10/28/2014

USciences Prez, Students and Faculty Attended Life Sciences Future in Philly

PABioLSF14_-138University of the Sciences President Dr. Helen-Giles Gee, as well as students and faculty from USciences, joined hundreds of life sciences leaders and innovators during the Life Sciences Future Conference on Oct. 13-14 in Philadelphia.

Life Sciences Future was a two-day event designed by Pennsylvania Bio to reflect the rapidly-evolving landscape in healthcare - which includes biopharma, medical device and diagnostics, healthcare IT, contract research organizations, medical research institutions, and the investment community.

The first day of the event kicked off with Life Sciences Future Symposium: Partnerships in Science, which was designed for an exclusive audience of academic researchers, such as USciences students and faculty, to explore best practices for engaging business development representatives at large companies as well as the next steps in developing their technologies. The second day of the conference was jam-packed with speakers, topics and features all related to advancing science and healthcare industries.

Dr. Giles-Gee and students had the opportunity to meet and speak with Michael Sofia, inventor of Sofosbuvir – known by the brand name Sovaldi, a hepatitis C therapy drug approved by the FDA last December.

“The sessions were outstanding and much appreciated by the faculty and students who attended," Dr. Giles-Gee.

10/13/2014

Get Vaccinated: Flu is Bigger Threat to You than Ebola, Says USciences Prof

Hussar_DanielWith the 2014-15 flu season officially underway, pharmacy professor Daniel Hussar, PhD, at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences, urges people to stop worrying about Ebola and get a flu shot instead. That’s because the flu is far more deadly in the U.S. compared with Ebola, and resulted in 131 flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania alone during the 2013-14 flu season (Sept. 29, 2013 to Sept. 27, 2014).

“While everyone should get a flu vaccine this season, it’s especially important for infants, children, pregnant women, and seniors because they are most vulnerable to developing serious complications – like pneumonia – if they catch the flu,” said Dr. Hussar.

Flu seasons – which typically span from October to May in Pennsylvania – are unpredictable and often differ in length and severity. However, influenza remains a leading cause of death in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 131 flu-related deaths in Pennsylvania last flu season, the Pennsylvania Department of Health revealed that nearly 80 percent of those deaths were recorded among people aged 50 and older. Nationwide, about 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu and up to 49,000 people die each year.

As an advocate for protecting people against the flu, Dr. Hussar compiled a list of key facts people need to know regarding flu vaccinations:

  • Safe for pregnant women. Pregnancy should not be a restriction to receiving a flu shot as it protects the mother and her baby for several months into its life.
  • It’s never too late. While people are encouraged to receive their flu shots in early fall, the immunization still provides benefits to individuals who wait until December or January to get vaccinated.
  • Healthy children need flu protection, too. Between 2004 and 2012, flu complications killed 830 children in the U.S., many of whom were otherwise healthy, according to the CDC.
  • Convenient locations. Most Pennsylvania pharmacies house a certified pharmacist who is authorized to administer flu shots to individuals older than 18. Anyone under the age of 18 is encouraged to receive vaccinations through their pediatrician or community health clinics.
  • ‘Flu caused by vaccination’ myth. The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that cannot transmit infection. That means people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway, they just assume the shot caused their illness.
  • Nasal spray an option. The nasal spray vaccine – or the live, attenuated influenza vaccine – is commonly known by its trade name, FluMist, and offers protection to healthy adults from 2 to 49 years old who are not pregnant. FluMist contains a live but weakened flu virus that cannot cause flu illness.

“Don't let the recent Ebola news headlines distract you from taking measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from the much greater risk of catching the flu,” said Dr. Hussar.

10/08/2014

USciences Students Advanced to Semifinals of National Pharmacy Competition

STUDENTCOMPETITIONLOGOThree doctor of pharmacy students at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia excelled to the semifinals of the 2014 American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Clinical Pharmacy Challenge earlier this month in Austin. They were the only students representing a Pennsylvania college or university in this competition.

USciences teammates Alex Hansen PharmD'15, of Mohnton, Pa.; Hoan Hoang PharmD'15, of Philadelphia; and Dennis Sainsbury PharmD'15, of Severna Park, Md., faced off against teams of three pharmacy students from across the country in a "quiz bowl" format. They defeated the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in the quarterfinal round, but later fell to the Purdue University College of Pharmacy in the semifinal round. Purdue went on to win the championship.

The preliminary rounds for this national competition were conducted over the Internet in September; and 104 teams of pharmacy students from across the nation vied for the opportunity to compete in the final rounds of the competition. The quarterfinal, semifinal, and final rounds were held live during the ACCP meeting.

AACP“I know firsthand the fierceness of this national competition,” said Heidi M. Anderson, PhD, provost and vice president of academic affairs at USciences. “This is an outstanding achievement and we are proud that these students advanced to being one of the top eight pharmacy schools in the country competing in the finals.”

Each team participating quarterfinal round received three complimentary student full-meeting registrations, and each team member also received an ACCP gift certificate for $125 as well as a certificate of recognition. In addition, semifinal teams not advancing to the final round, like USciences, received a semifinal team plaque for display at their respective institutions.

Yvonne Phan, PharmD, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at USciences, accompanyed the USciences team to Austin. The other colleges who competed in the quarterfinals included South Dakota State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, Touro University-California, University of Kentucky, and University of Utah.

10/07/2014

PCP Student Gained 'Invaluable Learning Experience' During Rotation

LearningThis article was originally published in the fall 2014 issue of Village Voice at Masonic Villages at Elizabethtown.

“Pursuing a professional career in pharmacy and beginning my journey as a Mason have been two of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said Alexander R. Micale PharmD’16, a fifth-year student at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences.

He had the chance to continue his pursuit of useful knowledge in the practices and professions of Freemasonry and pharmacy during a two-week institutional pharmacy rotation at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown’s Masonic Health Care Center in August under Donald Brindisi, who is the pharmacy manager and a member of Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682 in Elizabethtown. Alex hopes to pursue a career in nuclear pharmacy after graduation in 2016.

“I saw first-hand the profound, positive effect that Pennsylvania Freemasonry has on the lives of every single resident and staff member on the entire campus,” he said.

After seeking ways he could have a positive influence on his community while being a part of an organization more far-reaching than anything his university could offer, Alex connected with David Tansey, Past District Deputy Grand Master of District A, and took the first step on his lifelong Masonic journey. He joined the Masonic fraternity on June 23, 2012, as a part of the District A and D One Day Class in northeast Philadelphia. He is a member and Chaplain of Jerusalem Lodge No. 506, Philadelphia, and the Valley of Philadelphia, A.A.S.R., and is a recipient of the 2013 Master Builders Award.

“My experiences as a pharmacy student and a Pennsylvania Freemason have gone hand-in-hand, as both set out the noble goal of helping the surrounding community,” he said. “My education as a pharmacist will allow me to work with other health care professionals to keep our community and fraternity healthy. The lessons taught a Mason act as a guiding light, allowing me to be a positive influence in the lives of every patient I will encounter in my career.”

© 2011 University of the Sciences in Philadelphia • 600 South 43rd Street • Philadelphia, PA 19104 • 215.596.8800