APhA-ASP OTC Medicine Safety

The APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) is proud to partner with McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Scholastic to educate 5th and 6th grade students and their families about the safe use and storage of over-the-counter medicines. As the medication experts, who better than pharmacists and student pharmacists to serve in this vital role within communities across the U.S. 

Through the OTC Medicine Safety Campaign, APhA-ASP Chapters will educate 5th and 6th graders, as well as their parents and caregivers on:

  • Reading medicine directions
  • Following OTC label directions
  • Proper measurement of medicine 
  • Safe storage and disposal of medicine
  • Consulting with parent or guardian before taking medications

Modeled after the FDA’s Medicines in My Home program, Scholastic has created ready-made resources including e-books, posters, and handouts. These resources have been specifically designed to appeal to students at the 5th and 6th grade level. APhA-ASP Chapters are also encouraged to tailor the information and resources to the needs of their audiences. 

Program Results

OTC Medicine Safety was launched as an official APhA-ASP National Patient Care project in 2015. In the 2015-2016 academic year alone over 36,000 individuals were educated about the safe use and storage of over-the-counter medicines. The results of the 2015-2016 OTC Medicine Safety campaign highlight the following accomplishments of APhA-ASP chapters:

  • 89 chapters participated
  • 3,589 student pharmacists participated
  • 212 faculty participated
  • 189 pharmacy practitioners participated
  • 36,999 individuals reached through education
    • 9,033 5th and 6th graders educated
    • 6,984 parents/caregivers of 5th and 6th graders educated
    • 829 - educators of 5th and 6th graders educated
    • 19,487 others educated
  • 19,487 number of individuals educated through public relations initiatives

APhA-ASP recognizes each chapter that implements an OTC Medicine Safety program in their community. One Chapter from each of the eight APhA-ASP regions are recognized during Mid-Year Regional Meetings. In addition, the eight regional winners, along with one national winner, and two national runners-up are recognized during during the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition at the APhA-ASP Opening General Session and in Student Pharmacist magazine.


Available resources include: 

OTC Medicine Safety Community Partners

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) represents community leaders like you in every U.S. state and works in 18 countries around the world.

Safe Kids Worldwide works with over 500 coalitions in the U.S. and partners in 25 countries internationally to prevent childhood injuries.

The National Council on Patient Information and Education works to improve communication between consumers and healthcare professionals on safe and appropriate medicine use.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is the nation’s only 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to medication error prevention and safe medication use.

Reporting Guidelines

OTC Medicine Safety Report Guidelines - Due annually on June 15

OTC Medicine Safety Report Executive Summary - Due annually on June 15 (submitted in addition to the essay and chronological list via Formsite) 

For questions or more information about the program please email APhA Student Development Staff at APhA-ASP@aphanet.org


Thanks to the Supporter!

APhA-ASP sincerely thanks McNeil Consumer Healthcare for their support of this program. 


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