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Pharmacy professor awarded Ohio PACE Grant

Mar 14, 2011

Andrew Roecker, PharmD, RPh, BCPS, associate professor of pharmacy practice at Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy, has received a $73,950 grant from the Ohio Partnership for Adherence through Collaborative Education (Ohio PACE), a group associated with the Cleveland Clinic, for his proposal, “Improving Patient Adherence – Tools for Success.”

This grant will fund an educational program put together by Raabe College of Pharmacy faculty to be delivered to various health care professionals. This program will specifically focus on educating health care professionals on the tools available to improve patient adherence, the ways to implement these tools within their practice settings, and methods for evaluating an individual patient’s adherence to medications. It also will provide tools and a matrix for appropriate follow-up in terms of patient adherence. The targeted audience will be individual practice settings, including, but not limited to, physician offices, local health departments and outpatient ambulatory clinics in the communities and counties surrounding Ohio Northern University.

According to 2008 US Census Bureau statistics, 14.7 percent of people in Hardin and Allen counties live below the poverty line, which is below the national and state averages of 13.2 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively. Targeting the patients and health care settings in these communities would be an important step in reaching patients for whom adherence can be increasingly beneficial.

The subject of all proposals was to address the issue of patient non-adherence, a problem Ohio PACE finds to be the costliest element in the medical field. Health care providers, payers, employers and the patients themselves are at a financial disadvantage when medical instructions are not observed; however, the causes for this phenomenon are so varied and complex, it is difficult to find a solution.

According to Ohio PACE, “Health literacy, the cost of therapy, patient motivation and understanding, and the lack of patient support systems are among the many factors that affect a patient’s likelihood of being adherent to prescribed therapies. Health care providers are often frustrated by patient non-adherence and have very little formal training on the subject.”

As a result, Ohio PACE’s block grant calls for educators to find inventive ways to assist health care providers in better understanding non-adherence and working to improve the problem.

Funds for the grants are made available through an educational grant from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.