UCSF AMCP Chapter Heads to National P&T Competition

School of Pharmacy

In the annual Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) competition last week, nine teams made up of students from different school years competed locally for a shot to represent UCSF at the National Competition in San Diego.

In real life, a P&T committee determines what medications become approved drugs to be used on patients in a hospital or be covered by an insurance company (meaning the drugs become part of the formulary). All P&T students competing received a file called a monograph on the same particular drug, in this case, Tapentadol (Nucynta), a narcotic pain reliever.

The monograph contains a summary of information of the drug chosen. Student teams were then expected to research the drug and the disease for which the drug is intended and find out its efficacy.  The teams were also expected to look at the budget impact of approving or rejecting the drug and present their findings to a mock P&T committee made up of alumni and faculty from the School of Pharmacy.

“This year’s P&T Competition was the strongest it has ever been, both at the local and national level,” said Tien Ho, president of the AMCP-UCSF Student Chapter, which hosted the event. “This is a wonderful sign that interest in managed care is growing within our chapter and across our profession.”

Ben Parcher president-elect of AMCP-UCSF Student Chapter, said “The judges were impressed by each of the teams’ countless hours of work, deliberation, collaboration and preparation, and the decision to choose the winning team was not easy. In the end, the judges selected the team composed of Tien Ho (P3), Judy Wu (P3), Tiffany Nguyen (P1), and Clint Owens (P1) to represent UCSF. They were very humbled by the opportunity.”

Tien competed two years ago when she was a P1 Student and her team took second place at the National P&T Competition. When asked how it compared to winning this year’s local competition, she said:  “I felt that as a P3 winning the local competition and a shot at the national competition represented more the work and knowledge that I now have, as opposed to when I worked with two P4 students and another P1 student in the past competition.

“Back then as a P1, I did what the P4s told me and directed me to do.  I knew they had more experience and knowledge than I did, so I followed their lead. This year when we won the local competition, I felt more deserving because my contribution to the team was more about what I have come to know, and Judy and I were the P3s now teaching and guiding the P1s in our team.  We had the pleasure and opportunity to work with very capable and committed P1s, Clint and Tiffany. “

This year, 34 schools submitted materials to nationals, but only eight were chosen to compete at the AMCP annual conference in San Diego. UCSF was selected as one of the top eight teams. The other universities selected were Ohio Northern, Florida, Illinois at Chicago, Maryland, Minnesota, University of Southern California, and Washington. The P&T teams will present on April 4-5 at the conference in San Diego. Pharmacy students are welcome to attend the conference and support their team.

 “The competition at the Kanbar Center this year was videotaped for the first time by the Learning Technologies Group,” Parcher added.  

AMCP-UCSF recognized all the finishing teams who put in countless hours of work to reach the finish. In random order, the participating teams were:

1. Askar Nadjafov, Latonia Luu, Chad Rockwell, Hyojin Sung

2. Jennifer Tran, Tom Zhao, Erin St. Angelo, Adele Feng

3. Tien Ho, Clint Owens, Judy Wu, Tiffany Nguyen

4. Lena Yoo, Thomas Lee, Jian-ya Lin, Matt Cummings

5. Tiffany Chung, Blaise Hamel, Vanessa Shih, Vicky Yu Cao

6. Randal Du, Leann McDowell, Raymond Ngo, Kathyrn Salvadora

7. Vivian Chen, Yoo Yi Kim, Amanda Sugay, Peter Trong

8. Nicha Tantipinichwong, Phyllis Wang, Mike Blatt, Elizabeth Nguyen

9. Lisa Lam, Linda Chen, Gregory Balani, Kit Wun Kathy Cheung