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Creighton Students Join National Medicine Adherence Campaign

Creighton University students are raising awareness of the importance of taking medication by participating in the 2013 Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge. The month-long contest, which Creighton won last year, pits teams of health professions students from across the country against each other to try to best educate consumers on the importance of taking medication as directed.

The contest is sponsored by Script Your Future, a national coalition of more than 130 organizations that provides tools to help patients and health care professionals improve medication adherence. More than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and almost 125,000 U.S. deaths occur each year due to people not following medication directions.

"There are many reasons why people don?t take their medication as directed, but the consequences for patients are the same, said Nicole White, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. Non-adherence puts patients, especially those with chronic conditions such as hypertension, at risk for serious complications."

Creighton's team, which includes pharmacy, medicine, physical therapy, and occupational therapy students, has chosen to focus its message on hypertension, in line with American Heart Month. Students and faculty will perform blood pressure screenings throughout the month along with short coaching sessions about ways to lower blood pressure. They will also offer presentations on hypertension to groups and pass out medication wallet cards.

"The success of the first Script Your Future Adherence Challenge demonstrated the power of student pharmacists to reach out to their communities," said Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., executive vice president and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. "This year's Challenge will emphasize the inter-professional health care team and what each member needs to do to move the needle on medication adherence."

To learn more about the campaign, visit ScriptYourFuture.org or the Creighton University Script Your Future Facebook page. The students are also using a Twitter feed (@CUScriptFuture) to spread the message.

The winners of the challenge will be announced later this spring.