Touro students receive award for urging proper use of drug prescriptions

Times-Herald staff report/

Touro University's College of Pharmacy on Mare Island is a winner of the Script Your Future Team Challenge's "Health Disparities, Under-Represented Community Outreach Award." 

This award recognizes programs which engage health profession students and faculty in developing creative ideas for raising awareness about a big problem in the field -- medication adherence, or taking medication as it is prescribed. 

Awarded by the National Consumers League and its partners, this month-long outreach competition was held in February to engage student teams from pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and other health professions charged with tackling the problem of poor medicine adherence. 

The students devised creative solutions and community outreach programs to raise awareness and improve understanding about the need to take medication as their doctors prescribe. 

Touro College of Pharmacy targeted underserved populations in their outreach efforts, including uninsured, Hispanic, African American, South and Southeast Asian populations. 

Noting the high prevalence of chronic disease and other challenges, the teams devoted 80 percent of the month to target these populations and reach more than 1,200 patients. 

Students conducted blood glucose and blood pressure screenings and encouraged those who received services to seek further care, if needed.

"We are so proud of the broad participation of Touro students, faculty, residents and fellows in this project. Medication adherence is a multi-faceted problem that needs to be attacked from many directions," said Touro University California College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Katherine Knapp.

Research shows that nearly three out of four Americans don't take their medications as directed, often causing devastating results, particularly for people with chronic conditions, according to Touro University.