DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Collection Site Locator Now Available

April 9, 2014 5:30 PM

Written by: NABP National Association of  Boards of Pharmacy

Now available online, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day collection site locator allows consumers to search for a nearby location to dispose of unneeded medications on Saturday, April 26, 2014. On this day, from 10 am to 2 pm, thousands of DEA-coordinated collection sites will be available across the country, and consumers are encouraged to use this opportunity to safely and legally dispose of any unneeded pills, including prescription pain pills and other controlled substance medications, as these pills can only be accepted for disposal when law enforcement is present.

DEA reminds consumers that the take-back service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. Sites will accept tablets, capsules, and all other solid dosage forms of unwanted medication. Personal information may be blacked out on prescription bottles, or medications may be emptied from the bottles into the bins provided at the events. Check the DEA collection site locator often, as new locations will be added until April 26, 2014.

Consumers have disposed of over 3.4 million pounds of unwanted medication during previous DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days. During the seventh DEA take-back event on October 26, 2013, more than 5,500 locations provided take-back services across all 50 states and US territories. More information and a link to the DEA Take-Back Day collection site locator is available on theAWARxE® website.


Things My Mother Never Told Me About Pharmacy

Pharmacist-Statesman Returns to UH April 9

The Honorable Charles L. “Chuck” Hopson, R.Ph., to Present 2014 Phi Lambda Sigma James McCarty Leadership Lecture

The Honorable Charles L. “Chuck” Hopson, R.Ph., will serve as the 2014 Phi Lambda Sigma James T. McCarty Leadership Lecturer on Wednesday, April 9, at the University of Houston. Hopson’s lecture, entitled “Things My Mother Never Told Me About Pharmacy,” will be 4-5:30 p.m. in the Ballroom 210 in the newly renovated University Center.

From 2000 to 2012, Hopson was a member of the Texas House of Representatives serving District 11 in East Texas. During his tenure, Hopson served as Chairman of the powerful General Investigating and Ethics Committee, as well as a member of the Public Health Committee and the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee.


A 1965 graduate of UH College of Pharmacy, Hopson owned and operated the independent pharmacy May Drug in his native city of Jacksonville from 1973 to 2011. An active member of the Texas Pharmacy Association and is a past President of the Texas Society of Health-system Pharmacists and the Central East Texas Pharmacy Association.

Before his service in the Texas Legislature, Hopson was active in local government. He was elected to the Jacksonville School Board and the Jacksonville City Council, and was appointed Vice-Chair of the local Planning and Zoning Commission. Chuck also served on the Board of Trustees for Lon Morris College in Jacksonville.

Hopson has been an active member of his community with service on numerous boards and charitable organizations, including Austin Bank, the Nan Travis Hospital Foundation, and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. Chuck has also served First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville as a Sunday school teacher.

Hopson continues to work in the legislative arena as owner of Hopson Consulting Group. He also serves on the UHCOP Dean’s Advisory Council.

Chuck and his wife Billie, a former educator and school counselor for more than thirty years, have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Hopson’s community, political and professional service has been recognized by numerous organizations, including the UHCOP Distinguished Alumnus Award (2004) and the UHCOP Dean’s Special Recognition Award (2012) and serving as the UHCOP Class of 2007 Commencement Speaker.

His many other accolades include Business Man of the Year by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce (1999); Best Elected Official by the Readers of the Jacksonville Daily Progress (2002); Citizen of the Year by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce (2002); Texas Association of Realtors’ Honor Roll (2001 and 2003); Lonestar Statesman Award from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform (2004); and Award of Recognition for
Continued Commitment to Law Enforcement by the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 56 (2004).

Doctors Over Prescribe Name-Brand Drugs

Posted Friday, November 22nd 2013 @ 5am  by KTRH’s Corey Olson

700_1285031905Medicare doctors prescribing expensive name-brand drugs over cheaper generics is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  That is the conclusion of a new study from the non-profit investigative journalism group ProPublica.  The research examined Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program, and found that a certain group of doctors disproportionately prescribed name-brand drugs even when generic versions were available, costing the program an extra $300 million in 2011.  Doctors can do this because Part D allows low income people to pay the same co-pay for prescription drugs, regardless of whether the drugs are name-brand or generic.  That means customers don’t see the price difference, so the added cost is borne by the program.

The entire system of “name-brand” versus “generics” is based on incentivizing new research and development, according to Dr. Marc Fleming, professor at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy.  “Once these drugs go off patent, they’re opened up for the masses of people to get a lower price (through generics), which means now these brand-name companies have to go back and come up with the next great discovery,” he says.  Most patents allow developers to exclusively sell the drug for 7-11 years, before competition takes hold.  Dr. Fleming doesn’t think that changing or doing away with the patent system is the answer.  “If the system didn’t exist, or if companies didn’t lose patents, we don’t know if that would actually hurt new drug development,” he says.

Another issue found in the study is that many of the doctors who prescribe name-brand medications have financial ties to the companies that make those drugs.  “Patients believe what doctors tell them,” says Dr. Fleming.  “Some patients will tell you only Nexium works for them, even though Prilosec is available generically.”  The solution, he argues, is better communication between patients and doctors when it comes to prescriptions.  “Ask your doctor is there any particular reason why you prescribed this drug over the other one,” says Dr. Fleming.  “And if they can’t give a valid explanation, then patients should request the generic version.”

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UH Secures First Runner-up for NCPA Chapter of Year

Student Chapter Ranks No. 2 in Nation for Second Year in a Row


The UH College of Pharmacy Chapter of the National Community Pharmacists Association took home its second consecutive First Runner-up finish for the Chapter of the Year competition at the NCPA’s 115th Annual Convention & Trade Exposition Oct. 12-16 in Orlando, Fla.

In addition, UHCOP chapter member Esther Thomaswas among 32 students recognized as the NCPA Student Chapter Outstanding Members of the Year. The chapter award, which includes $1,000 in support, and outstanding member award are presented by the NCPA Foundation with support from McKesson.

The UHCOP chapter has undergone a major resurgence in recent years, including having three consecutive students elected to two-year terms on the Student National Leadership Council – one of whom was elected National SLC President.

Chapters vying for national honors are evaluated based on such critieria as program originality/innovation, number of chapter members involved, impact on the community, benefit to student chapter members, and collaboration with independent pharmacies and health care organizations.

“Being named first runner-up two years in a row is a huge accomplishment for us,” said current Chapter President Ally Thrall. “It goes to show how involved our students are and it definitely feels good to be recognized for all of our hard work. The past few presidents Zeke Medina, Bobby Clay and Tam Nguyen have set a standard of excellence for our chapter and I have big shoes to fill this year.

“In my opinion, independent pharmacy is the life of pharmacy. I think UHCOP students are passionate about all of the different opportunities within pharmacy and are interested in learning about all of the different options they have in the future.”

The UH chapter’s 2012-13 academic year activities — upon which the awards are based — included hosting its 3rd Annual Meet and Greet to connect students with independent pharmacy owners; offering dual membership in the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists and NCPA; participation in the Day at the Dome/TPA Leadership Symposium; and organizing a three-part Legislative Workshop Series featuring speakers from the Texas Pharmacy Association and Texas Pharmacy Business Council and covering such topics as how to communicate effectively with lawmakers.

In addition, NCPA members provided health education and wellness screenings at several large health fairs throughout the year, including the Diabetes Awareness Day at a south Houston YMCA; Well Woman Extravaganza, UH Health Awareness Day/Drug Take-back and Frontier Fiesta events at UH; and the Festival of Life Stroke Education and Health Fair at the Houston Zoo.

“The UHCOP NCPA Chapter’s ranking is a direct reflection of the strong work ethic in our membership and support from our independent pharmacists,” said Tam Nguyen, 2012-13 chapter president. “Our ranking helps build momentum and excitement for the new school year, especially for our new officers and incoming P1 students. Being ranked First Runner-up two years in a row is a validation that we got it ‘right’ here at UHCOP.”

“My term as the 2012-2013 Chapter President was a blessing due to the support of our alumni and other independent pharmacists. For example, Mr. Bruce Biundo, co-chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council and immediate past chair of TPA PharmPAC, has been one of our strongest supporters. He reached out to NCPA members and officers to be more involved with Texas pharmacy legislation and sponsored us to attend conferences. Last but not least, I have to mention the support from Dr. Lynn Simpson, NCPA chapter advisor and UH alumna. Her passion and enthusiasm for students involvement in organization are contagious.”

Thrall credited Nguyen for the development of the “Daily Dose,” a biweekly addition to the UH NCPA email, that discussed issues facing independent and Texas Pharmacy.

“Not only did this help promote independent pharmacy, but it also spread political awareness of on going issues that were very important to our profession as a whole,” Thrall said. “We are continuing to implement the Daily Dose into our emails this year to keep encouraging interest in independent pharmacy as well as political advocacy.”

The Chapter of the Year honorees were congratulated at the event by Sharlea Leatherwood, PD, NCPA Foundation president.

“NCPA student chapters help future pharmacists become future pharmacy owners through entrepreneurial-based programs during their collegiate experience,” Leatherwood said. “Amazingly, many of our 2013 honorees were recipients of the same awards in 2012, which is clearly an indication of the ongoing commitment to excellence of these schools. We applaud all the NCPA student chapters for their dedication to community pharmacy.”


UH Pharmacy Clinic Honored for Helping Homeless

The College of Pharmacy received national recognition from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy this summer for their work at the Houston Outreach Medicine, Education and Social Services Clinic, a student-run operation that aided thousands of homeless people in downtown Houston.Homeless Clinic

Pharmacy faculty member and HOMES preceptor David Wallace, director Kim Anh Pham, senior representative Henrietta Abodakpi and Pharmacy Dean F. Lamar Pritchard received a grant worth of $16,000 at the AACP Annual Meeting in Chicago, where they got to present the work they are doing and share the impact it having on the community.

The level of commitment and continuity is amazing, Wallace said. The award represents recognition of all the dedication and hard work the students have done in collaboration with medical students from the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston since 2000, when the clinic was founded by BCM physician David Buck.

The application process was often a daunting task, but Abodakpi said it compelled her to take a larger look at the approach to care she has been advocating and practicing and whether it does enough to ensure the well-being of the homeless population.

“It is my hope that the clinic will continue to educate my peer student pharmacists on the predominant social, economic and personal challenges that afflict the homeless in our community,” Abodakpi said.

Buck also founded the clinic’s sponsor, Healthcare for the Homeless — Houston, a nonprofit organization and federally-qualified health center that provides healthcare services to the local homeless population. HHH has helped sustain the efforts of the HOMES Clinic by providing medications, supplies and funding since its founding, which has helped the student volunteers to see more than 3,000 patients.

Pham said helping those in need keeps her grounded through her studies and serves as a constant reminder of why she pursues a career in pharmacy.

“It is because of the many experiences at (the) HOMES Clinic that compelled me to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and be the person of change to guide others out of the vicious cycle that homelessness creates,” Pham said.


Medical community reaches out to refugees in Houston

ABC news

(Click on the photo to watch the video)



HOUSTON (KTRK) — A group of people from across the world received medical help on Saturday in southwest Houston. They came in need of basic health care, and what they were shown, they say, was so much more than they expected.

These families are receiving normal health screenings, but they are not normal patients.

“They’re from all over the world. We have people here from Burma, from Nepal, from Congo, from Eritrea, from Iraq, and many other countries,” health fair organizer David Savage said.

They are here in the Houston area as refugees, and health professionals and students — people like Savage — have helped arrange their care.

“The goal is to find people who might have health problems that have not been noticed before and to get them plugged into the health care system,” Savage said.

“I appreciate all this stuff because they are good and they help us with what to do. I like them, I appreciate what they are doing,” said Fissaha Nerie, a refugee from Eritrea.

Nerie is thankful he could bring his family for the kind of health care he would never have had access to in his home country.

“They have more materials and I’ve never seen like this before,” he said.

The screenings cover basic mental and physical health, and nutrition. They’re done by volunteers with a special desire to reach out to this unique population of new Houstonians.

“We have medical students here today, we have dental students here today, as well as pharmacy students, so it’s been a great collaboration to serve our community,” health fair organizer Erika Wood said.

Iraqi refugee Thaer Albanee couldn’t agree more.

“I think it’s great that they’re able to help us refugees coming from all over the world. They check our health and they make sure we’re all right, and they check me and my daughter and everybody else’s health,” Albanee said through a translator.

The services were provided through a partnership of medical students at UTHealth, University of Houston College of Pharmacy and Alliance for Multicultural Community Services.

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(Copyright ©2013 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)



August 27, 2013-Houston

Student and faculty volunteers from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP) received national recognition this summer for their work to expand essential health care services for Houston’s homeless population.

HOMES Clinic studentsBestowed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the Student Community Engaged Service Award is in recognition of the team’s ongoing activities through the Houston Outreach Medicine, Education and Social Services (HOMES) Clinic. An interprofessional, student-run clinic in downtown Houston, the clinic operates under the auspices of the nonprofit Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston (HHH), which was founded by Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) physician David Buck.

The HOMES Clinic is a collaboration of UHCOP, BCM, the UH Graduate College of Social Work and the Schools of Medicine and Public Health at UTHealth. The clinic has served more than 3,000 patients since it was launched in 2000.

The clinic is open every Sunday to ensure access to needed services on a day when most other health care providers are closed. This also reduces the use of hospital emergency rooms for non-life-threatening conditions.

Pharmacy faculty member David Wallace, student project leader Kim Anh Pham and pharmacy dean F. Lamar Pritchard recently received the award and grant monies totaling $16,000 at the AACP Annual Meeting in Chicago.

“I’m elated that the HOMES Clinic team is being acknowledged for serving the homeless community for more than a decade,” said Pham, who also was appointed as the clinic’s first executive director from the UH College of Pharmacy. “Being a part of the HOMES Clinic has not only helped me in deciding what I want to do in my pharmacy career, but it also gave me insight to the needs of the homeless population. I’ve gained a deeper understanding of how homelessness could happen to any of us as a result of life-changing events or circumstances that are often beyond a person’s control.”

Pham said the grant monies primarily will be used to restock and expand the on-site pharmacy’s supply of common medications, including inhalers for asthma and other lung conditions, antibiotics, vaccines and psychiatric drugs.

HOMES Clinic students with professorServing in a supervisory role over pharmacy students, Wallace has been a fixture at HOMES almost every Sunday since the clinic opened.

“It’s very rewarding to see the students grow not only in their technical and clinical knowledge and skills, but also in their empathy and awareness of the complex medical, mental health and social needs within this patient population,” Wallace said.

Pritchard said the HOMES Clinic is a prime example of the impact of interprofessional teams in providing basic health services to the underserved through collaborative education and practice models.

“One of the most critical health care challenges we face nationwide is poor medication adherence, with an estimated total annual cost upward of $300 billion due to increased hospitalizations and other factors,” Pritchard said. “The HOMES Clinic and safety net providers such as HHH play a vital role in providing basic health care when few other options are available, preventing potentially serious complications resulting from interruptions in drug therapies.”

Recognizing student-led community engagement projects, the four national awards given each year are intended to encourage student pharmacists and faculty to design and build programs of community-engaged service learning, delivering consumer education about medication use, expanding access to affordable medications and improving public health. In addition to the UHCOP, the other recipients were Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the University of Hawaii at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy.

For more information on the AACP Student Community Engaged Service Award, visit For more information on the HOMES Clinic, visit


About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 40,700 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country. For more information about UH, visit the university’s newsroom.

About the UH College of Pharmacy
For more than 65 years, the University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP) has shaped aspiring pharmacists, scientists and researchers. The college offers graduate degrees in pharmacy administration, pharmacology and pharmaceutics, a professional pharmacy degree, combined professional/graduate degrees, and post-graduate residency and fellowship programs. With facilities on the UH campus and in the Texas Medical Center, the UHCO is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.