WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) recently conducted a pilot effort to bolster pharmacy students’ training around over-the-counter (O-T-C) products. Through several CHPA member company donations,144 U.S. schools of pharmacy received over 100 different O-T-C medicines, medical devices, and dietary supplements to educate and prepare future pharmacists.
“Millions of Americans rely on O-T-C medicines as an accessible and effective method to treat minor ailments,” said Marcia Howard, Ph.D., CAE, Vice President, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, CHPA. “O-T-C medicines enable the healthcare system to utilize its limited resources on the diagnosis and treatment of more serious diseases and medical conditions that necessitate the direct involvement of a physician, while at the same time providing safe, effective, and accessible treatment for a range of conditions to consumers and their families. Pharmacists are often on the front lines, working in stores and serving as a resource to consumers to help them self-select the right O-T-C.”
Each year pharmacy students in the U.S. are trained about the appropriate use of prescription and nonprescription medicines and medical devices available to consumers in the retail setting. To facilitate and enhance the educational experience of future pharmacists, CHPA partnered with AACP to develop a pilot effort utilizing donations from several CHPA member companies. CHPA members, including Apothecus Pharmaceutical Corp., Bausch Health, B.F. Ascher & Company, Inc., BestCo Inc., Combe Incorporated, NFI Consumer Products, and Perrigo Company, donated a selection of O-T-C medicines (brand name and generic/store brand), Class I/Class II medical devices, and dietary supplements.
“Thanks to the generous donations from CHPA members, students at our nation’s pharmacy schools will be better informed and equipped to advise and counsel patients on OTC products and therapies that are integral to their everyday health,” said John Ressler, director of academic programs and professional development at AACP.
“The Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Institute of Public Health is very appreciative of the donation recently received from CHPA,” said Marlon Honeywell, executive associate dean and professor, Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy. “Our learners will benefit tremendously from being able to utilize these medications to increase comprehension of curricular competencies and objectives.”
While many pharmacy schools already have some sort of “OTC storefront” for pharmacist training, many do not.
“Thank you to CHPA member companies for the O-T-C product donation provided through AACP,” said Miranda Wilhelm, clinical associate professor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) School of Pharmacy. “SIUE would like to express our appreciation and gratitude for this generous donation for our curriculum. We plan to use the OTC product donation as part of our new skills lab course sequence and self-care courses. The O-T-C product donation will allow me to bring products to class for students to touch and review the content of the Drug Facts label. This reinforces the information discussed in class and helps students to integrate the content into their knowledge.”