UW News

May 13, 2010

UW pharmacy students place second in national Pharmacy and Therapeutics Competition

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

School of Pharmacy second-year and third-year students Jonathan Chenoweth, Carly Fuhrman, Shawn Hagland and Zsolt Hepp placed second in the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 10th Annual Pharmacy and Therapeutics Competition in San Diego in April.

The competition challenges students to gain a real-world perspective on formulary management. A formulary is a list of drugs approved for safety and cost effectiveness. The list might also include information on how to prepare each medication, and its recommended use. Such lists are often prepared for a hospital, health maintenance organization or insurer.

As part of the competition at the Academy’s annual meeting, student teams analyze a disease state and drug, present their findings and make recommendations to a mock Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. At many hospitals and other health-care facilities, a Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee advises on formulary decisions and other matters pertaining to the use of medications, and are the formal communication link between the pharmacy and the medical staff.  

The disease state students assessed this year was immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) — a bleeding condition in which the blood doesn’t clot properly. The drugs they researched were Promacta and Nplate. Both of these agents increase platelet counts in patients with chronic ITP who have failed other first-line therapies.

Twenty-one schools of pharmacy originally submitted materials to the national competition. The UW team ultimately competed against seven other schools in the finals, including Purdue University, the University of California-San Francisco and Drake University.

For winning second place, the students received $1,500 for the UW School of Pharmacy scholarship fund. This is the second year in a row that a UW School of Pharmacy team has placed in the top two. Last year, which was the first year the UW competed, they took first place.

The team’s faculty adviser was Dr. David Veenstra, associate professor of pharmacy. Attorney and pharmacist Fred Sego, a 1982 graduate of the UW School of Pharmacy, served as the team’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Chapter Diplomat/Adviser.

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is a national professional organization that seeks to empower members to use medical management principles and strategies to improve health care. It has more than 5,700 members nationwide who are individual pharmacists, health-care professionals, and associates practicing in managed-care settings.