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Faculty Member Helps to Increase Access to Pharmacy

A low-cost pharmacy has opened in downtown Akron, Ohio, through the leadership of NEOMED faculty member Magdi Awad, Pharm.D., R.Ph.

AxessPointe is a non-profit that offers medical care to underserved customers in Akron. This is the third pharmacy that Dr. Awad has opened for AxessPointe in Northeast Ohio since joining the non-profit in 2010 as shared faculty. The newest location is about 15 minutes west of the NEOMED campus.

Dr. Awad oversaw the pharmacy opening from the beginning to the end, including the construction, cabinet and workflow design, IT and software needs, certification and contracting. “Integrating the dispensing and clinical pharmacy services within our locations has helped our patients achieve better clinical, economic and humanistic outcomes,” says Dr. Awad, who credits NEOMED pharmacy students and residents with contributing to the expansion and success of the pharmacy services.

For example, there’s Mir Hussain, a fourth-year College of Pharmacy student who did a two-month rotation with Dr. Awad.

“It’s really nice to see this positive change for customers who haven’t been able to afford medications or who live or work far away from pharmacies. These people can now do things that many of us take for granted — things like filling a prescription or asking a pharmacist to review all their medications,” says Hussain. “Furthermore, the addition of another pharmacy makes it more convenient for area customers to obtain their prescriptions following their healthcare visits at the clinic.”

The rotation heightened his awareness of the difference it makes to the entire community when underserved and uninsured people receive affordable health care, he says: “After having interacted with the patients over this short period of time, it made me appreciate that providing pharmacy services, including expert counseling, is integral for maintaining overall population health.”