UF Pharmacy Students Earn Top Honors from AMCP Foundation

University of Florida student pharmacists took top honors on April 5 at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s 25th annual meeting in San Diego. The AMCP Foundation presented awards for its National Student Pharmacist Pharmacy &Therapeutics (P&T) Competition and 2013 Best Poster Contest.

Thirty-four teams nationally from AMCP Student Pharmacist Chapters entered the P&T competition, from which eight finalist teams were chosen to compete in live presentations at the AMCP Annual Meeting.

In pharmacy practice, a drug formulary process is used routinely by hospitals and managed care organizations. Medications are reviewed in these settings by a Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee to make cost-effective pharmacy services decisions based on safety, effectiveness, and value. Pharmacists in this role regularly review new and existing medications.

UF students, Nicholas Piccicacco, Danielle Underwood, Jeenal Patel, Jordana Wollman and Faculty Advisor Robert Navarro received third place in the AMCP P&T competition. The University of Southern California tied with UF for the distinction. Each school received a $1,000 scholarship. The University of California-San Francisco won the first place scholarship for $2,500 and the University of Maryland took second place for a $1,500 scholarship.

AMCP Student Chapter President Maryam Khazraee, Dr. Robert Navarro, and past president Jordana Wollmann celebrate the UF team’s award
AMCP Student Chapter President Maryam Khazraee, Dr. Robert Navarro, and past president Jordana Wollmann celebrate the UF team’s award

The annual P&T Competition begins each December, and is organized locally by the UF student AMCP chapter. Seven UF student teams participated this year, and the winning team went on to represent UF at the AMCP Foundation national competition. They joined other finalist teams from Ohio Northern University, University of California-San Francisco, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, University of Southern California and University of Washington.

Co-founder and first president of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy and the Foundation Robert Navarro, Pharm.D., a clinical professor at the UF College of Pharmacy, served as the faculty advisor for the UF team. Each student dedicated more than 50 hours in their review of an opioid drug, Nucynta ER, used to treat patients with severe, chronic pain, Navarro said.

Navarro teaches courses in managed care pharmacy that focus on prescription benefits management for UF Pharm.D. students and for the college’s Online MS Programs in pharmaceutical outcomes & policy.

“The student pharmacists apply critical drug analysis and comparison skills they will use throughout their careers for health plan drug formulary consideration,” Navarro said.

UF student pharmacist Jeffry Consaul was the winner of the 2013 Best Student Poster Contest. His poster was titled, “Methods to Detect Adverse Drug Reactions Using Automated Healthcare Databases.”

“The AMCP Foundation’s annual competitions are a great way to instill in the next generation of pharmacists the practices and priorities of managed care pharmacy,” said Edith A. Rosato, R.Ph., IOM, Chief Executive Officer of the Academy and Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

This year’s poster contest featured 74 presentations. Tsu-Hsuan Yang from UF also received an Honorable Mention in the Best Graduate Student, Resident or Fellow Poster Category. Her poster was titled, “Improving the Participation Rate for Comprehensive Medication Reviews Through Enhancing Part D Beneficiaries’ Understanding of the Service.”

Poster award winners each receive $500 and an engraved plaque, a one-year AMCP membership, and complimentary registration for the AMCP Educational Conference this October in San Antonio, TX.