National Pharmacy Associations Collaborate on Adherence Education Initiative

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AACP, NCPA Announce Challenge to Identify Best Practices in Adherence Teaching

Alexandria, VA (Feb. 23, 2012) – The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) are focusing on the issue of medication adherence with the announcement of a joint pharmacy educators challenge and half-day symposium that will highlight the best practices in medication adherence teaching among the nation's 127 colleges and schools of pharmacy.

The Medication Adherence Educators Challenge is the first effort of its kind aimed at better understanding the resources and teaching strategies currently being utilized to prepare student pharmacists to detect, monitor, and improve medication adherence in pharmacy practice. It calls upon schools to submit their innovative teaching tools in the area of medication adherence, including tools currently used in the curriculum and experiential learning, as well as ideas and concepts still in development.

The most innovative tools will be presented as part of a joint AACP-NCPA Medication Adherence Educators Symposium on July 18, 2012, in Kissimmee, Fla. The half-day symposium dedicated to adherence teaching will be held in conjunction with AACP's 2012 Annual Meeting at the Gaylord Palms Resort, and will provide pharmacy faculty members the chance to share best practices, resources, and teaching strategies currently being used to teach medication adherence.

"This challenge and symposium provide an unprecedented opportunity for faculty members to share their medication adherence education tools, as well as to strategically think about innovative teaching methods that could be utilized by academic pharmacy and other health professions in the future," said AACP Executive Vice President and CEO Lucinda L. Maine, PhD, RPh.

The three challenge categories include didactic, laboratory, and experiential educational teaching tools, with consideration given to entries designed to assist students in planning and applying an adherence intervention strategy. The submissions will be judged by representatives from AACP and NCPA. Three submissions will be chosen as the challenge winners. Each winning school will receive a $1,000 award, and each submitting author will receive a $500 honorarium.

Select challenge entries will be shared, discussed, and evaluated during a special interactive segment of the symposium, where attendees will have the opportunity to discuss potential enhancements and deployment strategies for the various tools. All submissions will be compiled to create a repository of medication adherence educational tools that will be shared with the academic community for future incorporation into health professions curriculum.

"Adherence is a serious health issue that costs this country an estimated $290 billion each year, and pharmacists are well-positioned in the community to help address this health care crisis," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "But it's up to us to make sure tomorrow's pharmacists are adequately prepared and have the tools they need to improve medication adherence. We're pleased to be working with AACP on this important initiative designed to enhance the pharmacy education experience and produce pharmacist graduates who embrace pharmacists' role as medication adherence counselors."

In addition to working with AACP, NCPA recently launched Simplify My Meds, a personalized coordinated refill program that facilitates improved adherence by aligning a patient's prescriptions to be filled on the same day each month. The model decreases regimen complexity and reduces the risk of gaps in therapy.

NCPA and AACP are also committed partners of the National Consumers League's Script Your Future campaign, a public education campaign to raise awareness among patients about the consequences of not taking medication as directed. AACP recently co-sponsored the Script Your Future Medication Adherence Challenge, which engaged student pharmacists in raising public awareness about medication adherence.

The deadline for challenge entries is March 30, 2012. More information about the challenge, including the submission guidelines, may be found on the AACP Web site, A symposium agenda as well as pre-registration for the symposium will be available in May 2012.

Founded in 1900, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is a national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education and educators. Comprising 127 accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy with more than 6,000 faculty and 60,000 students, AACP is committed to excellence in pharmacy education. Visit to learn more and stay connected with the Association on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at

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