Faculty, Residents Present Research at APhA 2015

Published on 01 April 2015

How can we do this better to improve outcomes?

It’s the driving question for Clark Kebodeaux, Pharm.D., BCACP, whether he’s consulting patients at a community pharmacy or lecturing in front of hundreds of pharmacy students. The assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy is questioning one of the most important, and potentially overlooked, aspects of a pharmacist’s job: writing prescription labels. They’re small but filled with vital information which can be overcrowded.

“I want to find out how we get more white space, without making the prescription label bigger, by focusing on the essential information for the patient,” Kebodeaux says.

Kebodeaux will be discussing his research at APha2015, the American Pharmacists Association annual convention, this week in San Diego.

“This is groundwork to see what patients find most important,” Kebodeaux says of his work which was funded by the NACDS Foundation Faculty Scholars program.

He says changes as small as a couple of words can increase the ability for patients to follow directions and achieve better outcomes.

“A simple change in wording from ‘take one pill, twice daily’ to ‘take one pill in the morning and take one pill in the evening’ can make a difference,” Kebodeaux says. “People tend to adhere to their medications when that is written specifically on the prescription bottle.”

Several St. Louis College of Pharmacy residents are also presenting research at the conference.

-Emily Hanson, Pharm.D., worked with physicians to change the prescriptions of older adults to substitute away from high risk medications. This work is applicable to all community pharmacists working to improve CMS star ratings.

“Pharmacists can have difficulty getting older adults off high risk medication so we wanted to see if doing this intervention had an impact,” Hanson says.

Working at L&S Pharmacy in Charleston, Mo., she was able to change medications for 55 percent of study participants. Hanson says her collaboration with physicians helped remind many of them about potential medication problems with their patients.

“It’s a good thing to show other community pharmacists that we can have an impact on these measures,” Hanson says. “Changing half of the medications still has an impact on your overall population.”

-Krista Hein, Pharm.D., has a good friend with multiple sclerosis so she knows first-hand about the complicated and expensive drug regimen.

“A lot of the medications are injectable drugs,” Hein says. “Since the medications help with the symptoms but don’t cure the disease it can be difficult for patients to understand.”

As a result, Hein says, that leads to low adherence. Hein’s research focused on the pharmacists in community and specialty settings, and their level of familiarity with MS medications.

“The more information and resources provided to pharmacists can help patients with MS improve their outcomes,” Hein says.

-Bhumi Gandhi-Patel, Pharm.D., ’14, works in a specialty pharmacy inside an HIV clinic in St. Louis. She looked at whether a clinic-based specialty pharmacy can have an impact on the outcomes for HIV+ patients in comparison to other pharmacies.

“I believe it’s a plus to have a pharmacist right in a clinic,” Gandhi-Patel says. “I think it’s incredibly important to provide that initial consultation, especially when a patient starts a new therapy.”

A similar study is underway right now with the Centers for Disease Control on a much larger scale.

“There hasn’t been a study done to show if retail pharmacists can affect overall outcomes in HIV patients,” Gandhi-Patel says. “It’s very exciting to be a part of such a novel study.”   

Attending this year’s APhA annual meeting in San Diego, or live in the San Diego area? Join alumni, faculty and current STLCOP students while enjoying refreshments during a STLCOP reception on Saturday, March 28., at Florent, in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, near the convention center. RSVP here.

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