UH Hilo student pharmacists to help patients with medication management

Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

Student pharmacists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) will soon be helping HMSA and University Health Partners to perform Medication Therapy Management (MTM) for people with chronic diseases.

“The College has signed an agreement with HMSA and University Health Partners to provide medication therapy management services to their high-risk patients by tapping into the specialized expertise of pharmacists,” explained DKICP Dean Rae Matsumoto. “Supervised by faculty members, our most qualified students will be putting their technical knowledge and people skills to work to help patients achieve better outcomes from their medications.” MTM includes reviewing a person’s medications to ensure they are being used appropriately, answering drug-related questions and determining the most cost-effective options.

Students will need to apply and interview for the MTM consultant positions, and the paid work will be in addition to their academic studies, explained Camlyn Masuda, DKICP associate specialist and a coordinator for the new program.

“Studies show that using pharmacists to provide MTM services improves medication adherence and ensures patients are on the appropriate medications and doses,” Masuda said.

“Students, working under the supervision of a pharmacist, will have a one-on-one phone conversation with each person about all the medications they are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements. They’ll then document the information gathered and any recommendations made and share it with the person’s physician.”

Masuda added they expect the first students to be hired and start providing MTM services after the fall semester begins.

“We will have a MTM center set up on campus, with phones and computers, where students will work,” she said.

“This type of work experience puts our students on the forward edge of pharmacy services being offered in healthcare today,” Matsumoto added. “We are very excited to have this opportunity to work with HMSA and University Health Partners, two of the largest healthcare providers within the state, to help in delivering better care to their patients.”

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