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 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 2018-2019 academic year alone over 70,000 individuals were educated about the safe use and storage of over-the-counter medicines. The results of the 2018-2019 OTC Medicine Safety campaign highlight the following accomplishments of APhA-ASP chapters:

  • 106 chapters participated
  • 5,276 student pharmacists participated
  • 393 faculty participated
  • 210 pharmacy practitioners participated
  • 71,170 individuals reached through education
    • 21,720 5th and 6th graders educated
    • 8,141 parents/caregivers of 5th and 6th graders educated
    • 1,634 educators of 5th and 6th graders educated
    • 39,675 others educated
  • 572,631 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.

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

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 award winners!

 Region 1 Award  MCPHS University - Boston
 Region 2 Award  Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy
 Region 3 Award  The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy
 Region 4 Award  University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy
 Region 5 Award  University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy
 Region 6 Award  University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy 
 Region 7 Award  Idaho State University College of Pharmacy
 Region 8 Award  University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
 Second Runner-Up Award  University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy
 First Runner-Up Award  University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
 National Award   University of Maryland School of Pharmacy


Thanks to the Supporter!



APhA-ASP sincerely thanks Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. for their support of this program. 


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