National Consumers League’s 5th annual Medication Adherence Team Challenge underway

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The National Consumers League on Jan. 19 will kick off its fifth annual Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a two-month-long intercollegiate competition among health profession student teams and faculty for creating solutions to raise awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue, the organization announced Monday. 
“We know that, by working together, health care professionals can help patients take their medications as directed in order to preserve and improve their health," stated Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director. "The Challenge embraces this principle behind improving medication adherence and lays the foundation for adherence-minded care delivery among students before they enter the workforce,” she added. “We have been so impressed by the creativity and dedication of our student teams in previous years and look forward to seeing what this year’s Challenge will contribute to the discussion.”
The Challenge is part of Script Your Future, a campaign launched by the National Consumers League and partners in 2011 to combat the problem of poor medication adherence in the United States, where nearly three out of four patients do not take their medication as directed. 
The Challenge is sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Medical Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
From Jan. 19 through March 18 inter-professional teams — including student pharmacists, nurses and doctors — will implement outreach with creative approaches in their communities to raise awareness and improve understanding about medication adherence, using Script Your Future. At the end of the Challenge, select schools and their teams will be recognized nationally for their efforts to improve medication adherence.
“The Script Your Future Adherence Challenge has provided a tremendous opportunity for health professions students to illustrate how they can work collaboratively to improve patient care through better medication adherence,” said Lucinda Maine, EVP and CEO at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. “This challenge, now in its fifth year, provides a great example of the power health professions teams can have on medication adherence.”
Since the Challenge began in 2011, more than 6,000 future health care professionals have directly counseled more than 22,000 patients and reached more than nine million consumers in this concerted public effort about the importance of medication adherence. Last year’s National awardees were the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. 
The Focused awardees were the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (Health Disparities), the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy (NEOMED) (Media), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy (Creative Inter-Professional Event).  

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