USC pharmacy school receives $12 million grant for medication adherence project

June 25, 2012

The University of Southern California School of Pharmacy has received the largest grant the school has ever received, for a massive medication adherence project.

The University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy has received the largest grant the school has ever received, for a massive medication adherence project.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded the school with a $12,007,677 grant to bring pharmacists into safety-net clinics in Southern California, in order to improve medication adherence and the safe use of prescriptions. The project will target high-risk patients with difficult-to-achieve chronic disease control, who will receive individual services from pharmacists. Then, the outcomes of the patients will be measured against similar patients not receiving pharmacist care in other clinics.

“The project is designed to address both the widespread misuse of prescribed medications and the shortage of primary care providers in low-income populations,” said Geoffrey Joyce, principal investigator on the project and an associate professor at the USC School of Pharmacy, in a statement on USC’s website. “Pharmacists are remarkably underutilized in the U.S. healthcare system, and this demonstration will test and evaluate the impact of using them in primary care settings,” Joyce added.

USC will work with AltaMed Health Services, initially launching the project in three treatment clinics in Orange County. Pharmacists will be working collaboratively with physician colleagues in the clinics, which are located in large, underserved population areas. The project will also work with the East Los Angeles Occupational Center pharmacy technician training program, to develop curricula that support expanded roles for pharmacy technicians. Eventually, the project will extend to AltaMed clinics in Los Angeles County.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to again demonstrate and evaluate a model of care that uses pharmacists to effectively improve health outcomes,” said R. Pete Vanderveen, dean of the USC School of Pharmacy, in a statement on USC’s website.