Pharmacy, nursing students take on Script Your Future challenge

Cabrini Rudnicki, Co-News Editor

Pharmacy and nursing students are collaborating for the 2019 Medication Adherence Team Challenge.

The challenge has Wilkes students working with health profession students from across the country competing in the 2019 Medication Adherence Team Challenge. The challenge is a two-month long competition to raise awareness for taking medication as directed.

Medication Adherence Team Challenge is a part of the Script Your Future, a campaign started by the National Consumers League in 2011. Since starting the challenge, nearly 65,000 patients have been directly counseled by the 15,000 health care students involved in the challenge. The challenge has reached more than 24.5 million consumers about the importance of medication adherence.

National Consumer League’s mission is to protect and promote social and economic workers.

“Understanding your condition and taking the medicine correctly are important steps toward a longer, healthier life,” says the official Script Your Future website. “Not taking your medicine as directed can do more than just send you to the hospital – almost 125,000 people die every year because they do not take their medicine as directed.”

According to the National Consumers League, three out of four patients do not take their medication as directed, which could lead to serious complications.

Sponsors for the challenge include American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Wilkes students involved include Agnes Stypulkowski, Amber Ankudovich, Antonia Gobo, Cody Morcom, Danica Benson, Jamie Campbell, Katelin Ivey, Meghan Muretta, Nicole Hughes, Rachel Wood, Sarah Hughes, Sergey Svintozelskiy and Zaleena Rasheed

Katelin Ivey, a P2 pharmacy student at Wilkes, is one of the student coordinators of the event.

“We will be talking to patients in the community about medication adherence, making sure they are taking it on time, taking it in the correct way,” she explained. “Along with that, we will be focusing on three disease states: cardiovascular, asthma, and diabetes.”

The students will go to events around the area in order to do community outreach.

“We’ve been in contact with a lot of the pharmacies around the area, including the Medicine Shoppe, Albert’s, Nockley Family Pharmacy, as well as looking into Volunteers of Medicine,” she said.

Ivey is proud to be one of the students participating in the event.

“It feels amazing, it feels like something greater than myself. I never thought that as a student I’d be able to have opportunities to go and make a direct impact on patients’ lives like this.”

This is Wilkes’ first year participating in the challenge. Dr. Troy Lynn Lewis, an assistant professor of pharmacy, brought the challenge to the school upon seeing how great of an opportunity it would be for her students.

“We know medication does not work unless patients are actually taking their medication. This is a nationwide issue, and it is what the events across our community are aimed for,” she explained.

The challenge started Jan. 1 and will end March 22. The most recent event took place Feb. 2 at the St. Nicholas Church before the evening mass. The students held an information session for proper medication adherence as well as took blood pressure from the churchgoers. Six to seven more events are planned for the rest of the challenge season.

“For this concentrated time, the students are in the community promoting medication adherence. They will hold different events, with the events being centered around chronic disease states,” she explained. “Our pharmacy students are targeting these patients to make sure they are taking their medication everyday.”

“We are competing against pharmacy schools across the nation,” she explained. “The winners are announced in April and the winning schools get stipends, award, and a press release. There is some incentive.”

“I think [this challenge] is important because it is something that they will see everyday when they are practicing,” said Lewis. “I think it is also important to be a patient advocate. I am making sure they are advocating for real-life issues in the community.”

The community can follow the Wilkes’ Script Your Future team on their Facebook page. For more information on the challenge, visit Participators will be using #SYFchallenge and follow the campaign @IWillTakeMyMeds.

For my information for when the next Script Your Future community outreach event will be held, please contact Dr. Lewis at [email protected].