For the last month, anyone who is friends with a pharmacy major has probably noticed their profile picture change to a red sign reading ‘Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist.’
This expression is the theme for the month-long celebration of American Pharmacists Month, sponsored by the American Pharmacists Association. The APHA Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter at Wilkes has been especially involved in this month’s celebration of pharmacists on campus.
The month was kicked off with Media Day, in which pharmacy majors went into New York City to promote the month’s theme, “Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacists” on “Good Morning America” and the “Today” show.
Students held up signs with the month’s theme slogan on them in the background during live tapings of “Good Morning America” and the “Today”. Junior P1 pharmacy major Meribeth Derkach was among the group of students that went and said the day allowed them to meet up with other pharmacy schools celebrating American Pharmacists Month.
“The fact that Wilkes is such a small school that we could go to something like that with the bigger schools was amazing,” Derkach says. “A bunch of schools from around the Northeast (came), which was kind of cool to see that we were recognized and we had a really big following.”
In addition to Media Day, pharmacy majors have been promoting American Pharmacists Month through outreach committees on campus and in the local community designed to spread awareness of health and wellness, healthy living and medication.
“We have been promoting heartburn awareness, telling people about the importance of getting your flu shot, doing Diabetes education,” said P3 pharmacy major and Operation Diabetes Chair Emily Snyder.
Snyder says this month is to recognize that pharmacists are important part of community health care more than people think they are.
“A lot of pharmacists feel that they aren’t being as utilized as heavily as they could be and pharmacists are qualified to do a lot of different (types) of things besides referring prescriptions,” Snyder says. “They can take blood pressure, do diabetes screenings, counseling on diet and Medication Therapy Management which is where a patient brings all their medications in with them and the pharmacist will sit down with them and educate the patient on side effects, make sure there is no drug interaction and on the best therapy for their disease states.”
Snyder says part of the initiative for the month is for people to see their community pharmacists in a different light and to realize pharmacists can also give immunizations can answer questions about over-the-counter and prescription medications.
P3 pharmacy major and APha-ASP president Emily Thudium, the APha-ASP chapter has been coordinating most of the month’s celebrations.
Thudium says that pharmacists are the most accessible health care professional and it doesn’t cost anything to ask a question and get information about how to improve overall health.