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Episode Info:

RxSafe Podcast Series:

From the NCPA Innovation Center:

Ghada Abukuwaik, RPh, of Curemed Pharmacy in Clifton, N.J., was honored with the 2019 NCPA Innovation Center Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award in recognition of her commitment to improving medication adherence. The award is sponsored by RxSafe and was presented at the National Community Pharmacists Association's 2019 Annual Convention in San Diego.

"Though critical to outcomes and to containing costs, medication adherence can be a highly personal matter," said NCPA President Bill Osborn, PharmD. "Ghada Abukuwaik and the team at Curemed Pharmacy are taking a multifaceted approach to improving adherence and patient health, leaving no stone unturned. I am proud to recognize Ghada for such successful, inspiring work in engaging patients and helping them manage their medications."

Abukuwaik and Curemed Pharmacy began providing medication synchronization services in 2015, a program now described as core to the pharmacy's practice. 424 patients are currently enrolled in the med sync program and their adherence measure rates are well above 80 percent, the industry standard. Fifty-three percent of patients are utilizing blister and bubble packs, with the pharmacy aiming to provide 100 percent compliance packaging to med sync patients in the next two years. Beginning in December 2018, the pharmacy began offering annual consulting and educational home visits to med sync patients, reaching 73 percent of patients on the initial round of visits.

Abukuwaik and Curemed Pharmacy also have a well-established diabetes education program that has helped patients decrease doses of diabetes and blood pressure medications, decrease the number of medications, and even stop medications for pre-diabetes patients. They utilize an Rx Local application that allows the pharmacy team to contact patients in a HIPAA-approved platform, giving patients another means to send for refills, set up reminders, manage care, and update their information. The pharmacy also prioritizes communicating with health care colleagues, regularly communicating with physicians with updates on patients.

Curemed Pharmacy's patient health is improving as a result of these and other tools, with their sync population having a mere 2.4 percent hospitalization rate.

"It's my distinct honor and privilege to join the NCPA Innovation Center in recognizing Ghada Abukuwaik as recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Adherence Practitioner Award," said RxSafe President and CEO, William Holmes. "Ghada exemplifies how independent community pharmacists can use technology to have a huge impact on improving patient health and safety, and enable millions of Americans to live independently and productively for years to come."

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