UF ranks in Top 5 for number of student posters presented at ASHP Clinical Midyear Meeting

With 46 students presenting, the University of Florida College of Pharmacy ranked among the Top 5 pharmacy colleges nationally for the number of students presenting a poster at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, or ASHP, Clinical Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Dec. 3–7.

The meeting, which is the world’s largest pharmacy event in the world, brought together more than 25,000 pharmacy professionals. It featured former first lady Michelle Obama as the keynote speaker and included sessions about combatting opioid abuse and programming for small and rural hospitals.

The poster sessions, which took place over three days, included 1,970 poster presentations from across the nation.

View more photos from the event.

Poster Session Highlights

Pharm.D. students present a poster at ASHP
Pharm.D. students Christine Tabulov, Tammy Li and Sarah Mayer presented a poster about measuring the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing.

Third-year Pharm.D. students Christine TabulovSarah Mayer and Tammy Li presented a poster titled, “Retrospective Analysis of Outpatient Anti-infective Prescribing in a Student-Run Free Clinic.”

The student pharmacists, who all study at the Gainesville campus, aimed to measure the appropriateness of prescribing patterns using national guidelines and local antibiograms at the student-run Equal Access Clinic Network in Gainesville. The student pharmacists compared their data to the 85 percent benchmark set by the White House’s 2015 “National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria,” or CARB.

“We aimed to determine if anti-infective prescribing was deemed appropriate or inappropriate compared to the 85 percent benchmark set by CARB,” Tabulov said. “We also aimed to determine what infectious diseases needed improvement in anti-infective prescribing.”

Of their sample size of 189 antibiotics prescribed in 2015 and 2016, only 57 percent were appropriately prescribed. But the level of appropriate prescriptions varied greatly depending on the condition being treated. Antibiotic prescription appropriateness for sexually transmitted diseases nearly met the 85 percent benchmark, at 82 percent, while treatment for urinary tract infections fell far below it at 10 percent.

“Taking the results of this study into account, it’s important to implement a pharmacy student-run antimicrobial stewardship program at the Equal Access Clinic,” Mayer said. Such a program would improve usage of antimicrobials, “and would also prevent the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, improve patient safety and preserve the efficacy of existing antimicrobials,” Li said.

Pharmacy student presents poster at ASHP
Pharm.D. student Katherine Riden presented a poster about measuring associations between genetic variations in eNOS and the severity of pulmonary hypertension in heart failure patients.

Katherine Riden, a third-year Pharm.D. student at the Gainesville campus, presented a poster titled “Genetic Polymorphism in Nitric Oxide Synthase is Associated with Pulmonary Hypertension Severity in Heart Failure Patients.”

Riden hypothesized that nitric oxide synthases may play a role in pulmonary hypertension severity of heart failure patients. She aimed to measure associations between genetic variations in endothelial nitric oxide synthase, or eNOS, and the severity of pulmonary hypertension in heart failure patients.

Overall, 134 patients were included in her analyses. Genetic variation in eNOS was significantly associated with both pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and trans-pulmonary gradient in patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with left heart failure.

Riden’s research suggests that eNOS is associated with combined pre- and post-capillary pulmonary hypertension. But the worsening of trans-pulmonary gradient and diastolic pressure gradient indicates that the severity of these patients’ pulmonary hypertension may not be linked to the severity of their heart failure. If eNOS is involved with worsening patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with left heart failure, it would provide an important lead for novel treatment development.

In addition, assessing eNOS variation might help predict which patients will develop more severe pulmonary hypertension, identifying them as candidates for more aggressive treatment.