Contest Aims to Improve Medication Adherence

By: Amy Charley

Nearly three out of four patients in the U.S. put their health and futures in jeopardy by not taking their medication as directed, often resulting in serious health consequences. In an effort to curb this serious public health issue, the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and Pitt School of Medicine have joined health professions students across the country in Script Your Future’s fourth annual Medication Adherence Challenge.103583538

During January and February, pharmacy and medical students will hold a series of community outreach activities throughout Pittsburgh. People visiting certain pharmacies will interact with health science students, participate in a four-question survey that will assess their baseline adherence to prescriptions, and learn helpful tips and tools to make it easier to take medication as directed. They also will have the opportunity to sign up for text message medication reminders and will receive free blood pressure readings.

“We are aiming to have a huge impact in the community,” said Alex Marshall, a second year student pharmacist. “We are implementing the project at a variety of sites, including pharmacies and medical clinics.”

The students began offering their services Jan. 19, and have already talked to about 600 people about their medication adherence. The challenge will be from 1 to 5 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday and  will run until Feb. 17 at Falk Pharmacy, UPMC Presbyterian Prescription Shop, and University Pharmacy. The students also will be at an additional 77 community pharmacies throughout Allegheny County on Fridays in January and February, as well as the Birmingham Clinic and the traveling optometry clinic Guerrilla Eye Service of the UPMC Eye Center.