Health Sciences Education Symposium

First Author Information

Apryl N. Anderson, Pharm.D., Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Sciences, VCU School of Pharmacy

Additional Author(s) Information

Lauren M. Caldas, Pharm.D., BCACP, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Sciences, VCU School of Pharmacy

Julie A. Patterson, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Sciences, VCU School of Pharmacy

Diana Gregory, VCU School of Pharmacy

Presentation Format


Type of Activity


Original Presentation Date


Date of Submission

March 2019

Abstract/Short Description

Drug utilization review (DUR) is an essential pharmacist responsibility to ensure safe, effective medication use. DUR is a systematic review of medications to screen for medication-related problems (MRPs), such as drug interactions, duplications in therapy, inappropriate drug usage, etc.1,2Most pharmacies have computerized systems that alert for drug interactions, however, the systems’ accuracy and specificity vary widely.3 Therefore, pharmacists must use their clinical judgment to make decisions on medication appropriateness.

Previous studies show that innovative active learning activities may be successful in developing student pharmacists’ clinical decision-making skills associated with DURs. Castillo et al utilized “Brown Bag” simulations to improve students’ confidence in selected DUR skills.4 Mospan and Alexander used simulated patient cases to develop students’ DUR skills but found that students needed more time to complete the cases.5

The purpose of this learning activity was to improve first-year pharmacy students’ confidence and ability to perform DUR skills through an online choose-your-own-adventure activity. The learning objectives of the DUR activity were to interpret drug-related information relative to a patient case and to formulate a clinical intervention to resolve identified MRPs.


1. Elder DL. A Practical Guide to Contemporary Pharmacy Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health; 2018.

2. Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Board of Directors. Drug Utilization Review. Alexandria; 2009. Accessed January 4, 2019.

3. Savererno KR, Hines LE, Warholak TL, Grizzle AJ, Babits L, Clark C, Taylor AM, Malone DC. Ability of pharmacy clinical decision-support software to alert users about clinically important drug-drug interactions. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2011;18:32-37.

4. Castillo S, Begley K, Hoie E, Elsasser G, Augustine S. “Brown bag” simulations to teach drug utilization review. Am J Pharm Educ. 2014;78(2).

5. Mospan C, Alexander K. Teaching drug utilization review skills via a simulated clinical decision making exercise. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. 2017;9(2): 282–287.


© The Author(s)

Is Part Of

VCU Medical Education Symposium