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Pharmacy School Kicks Off Script Your Future 2014 Challenge

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Students conducting Script Your Future outreach at the Ferry Building Farmers' Market in San Francisco. Photo by Kevin Yu

By Niki Arab
Staff Writer

Script Your Future is an annual national campaign and competition among health professional schools to promote medication adherence throughout the month of February.

This is the second year the UCSF School of Pharmacy will participate. The school hopes to recruit more individuals from other professional schools at UCSF to join in its patient outreach events. 

According to the Script Your Future statistics, one out of every three Americans never even fill their first prescription and three out of four Americans do not take their medication as directed.

Medication is intended to prevent or treat illness, so why would patients not take them?

“Many people believe that adhering to medications is simply a matter of remembering,” said Dr. Jennifer Cocohoba, an adviser for the medication adherence challenge. “That’s true in some cases, but there are so many other dimensions to adherence, which can affect adherence. Patients may not like to be reminded of their disease, or may be having side effects, or may not understand how to take their medications properly.”

There may also be challenges in obtaining the medications within complex health insurance systems and problems affording medications. “All these factors can play a role in patients not sticking to their medicines,” added Cocohoba.

The national Script Your Future campaign began in 2011, and includes the following competition categories: overall national challenge, target market challenge, health disparities and under-represented community outreach, creative interprofessional team event, and chronic condition outreach.  Last year UCSF received honorable mentions.

For patient outreach events, the UCSF team is working to promote awareness by speaking individually with patients about their medication usage. The team will be stationed at the Ferry Building every Saturday and still has spots for more student volunteers.

In addition, the team is trying to utilize social media to improve its outreach. The social networks include: facebook.com/UCSFhealthyourself, twitter.com/syfUCSF, and Instagram (username syf_UCSF).

Be sure to watch out for the team’s video and medication adherence pledge stickers —maybe on your next coffee — and consider taking the pledge yourself. Be sure to hashtag us (#scriptyourfuture #syfUCSF). 

If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please contact Niki Arab (P1) the team advisors Jennifer Cocohoba, Pharm.D, and Kirsten Balano, Pharm.D. For more information about the national campaign, please visit www.scriptyourfuture.org.

Niki Arab is a first-year pharmacy student.

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