APhA-ASP OTC Medicine Safety

The APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) is proud to partner with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. to educate 5th through 8th 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 through 8th 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 2019-2020 academic year alone over 60,000 individuals were educated about the safe use and storage of over-the-counter medicines. The results of the 2019-2020 OTC Medicine Safety campaign highlight the following accomplishments of APhA-ASP chapters:

  • 109 chapters participated
  • 5,362 student pharmacists participated
  • 321 faculty and staff members participated
  • 234 pharmacists participated
  • 63,446 individuals educated through OTC Medicine Safety
    • 17,864 5th and 6th graders
    • 9,009 parents and caregivers
    • 5,884 coaches and educators
    • 30,689 others educated including: other elementary, middle, and high school students, college students, and policy makers
  • 800,017 individuals reached 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.

OTC Medicine Safety Report & Recognition

Recognition will be awarded to the top chapters nationally at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition. Chapters receive the following cash awards:

National Award Winning Chapter = $1,000
National 1st Runner-up = $750
National 2nd Runner-up = $500
Regional Award Winning Chapters - Regions 1-8 = $250 


OTC Medicine Safety Report Submission

To be considered for regional and national awards for APhA-ASP OTC Medicine Safety activities, chapters can complete an essay and submit a separate chronological list for the project events (e.g. OTC Medicine Safety Chronological List) within the APhA-ASP Chapter Achievement Report form. Guidelines and information on the submission process can be found within the APhA-ASP Chapter Achievement Report information


OTC Medicine Safety Regional and National Award Recipients

We are excited to announce the 2019-2020 Overall National Patient Care Project Results. Join us in celebrating the 2019-2020 OTC Medicine Safety Regional Award Recipients! The national awards will be announced at APhA2021. 

Region 1 Award: St. John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Region 2 Award: West Virginia University School of Pharmacy

Region 3 Award: East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy

Region 4 Award: University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy 

Region 5 Award: University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Region 6 Award: University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy

Region 7 Award: Oregon State University College of Pharmacy

Region 8 Award: The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy


Thank you to the Supporter!

APhA-ASP OTC Medicine Safety is supported by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.