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Innovation Challenge

Create an innovative solution to real world problems with your friends and student pharmacists!

2018 Innovation Challenge Winners

Congratulations to our 2018 Innovation Challenge winners! We are extremely proud of all teams for their thoughtful and collaborative approaches to addressing community‐based problems, and its reflection on the corresponding role of pharmacists.

  • 1st Place- University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart
  • 2nd Place- Washington State University College of Pharmacy and North Central Institute of Science & Technology
  • 3rd Place- Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and Pittston Area School

Our first place winner, University at Buffalo, sought to prevent opioid abuse and addiction. By partnering with their school’s health fair, the team was able to educate attendees about opioids—what they are, what they’re used for, how opioid addiction occurs, and a pharmacist’s role in opioid education.

To gauge the effectiveness of their OpiEducate campaign, they administered a pre- and post-health fair survey. The awareness campaign proved to be effective. Prior to the health fair, 47% of surveyed students were unfamiliar with opioids. After the health fair, 100% of surveyed students were familiar.

University of Buffalo hopes that other schools will use their template to promote opioid awareness on their respective campuses. The winning team demonstrated how easily students can have an impact on campus and they hope to position pharmacists as a source of accurate opioid information.

Click on the links below to view video submissions:

University at Buffalo and Buffalo Academy of Sacred Heart

Washington State University and North Central Institute of Science and Technology

Wilkes University and Pittston Area School 

The Pharm4Me Innovation Challenge

The 2019 Innovation Challenge will launch in September 2018.  Watch for revised review criteria and application instructions. 

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) invites high school students and current student pharmacists to partner on the Pharm4Me Innovation Challenge! Student teams will collaborate to identify innovative solutions to medication or health-related problems in their communities. Teams may choose to focus on one or more aspects of a particular topic. Submissions are due to pharm4me@aacp.org by April 1, 2018.

Suggested Topic Areas:

  • Acne or skin disorders
  • Behavioral vs pharmacological management
  • Depression (coping mechanisms, social stigma)
  • Drug abuse (illegal, opioids, narcotics, prescriptions)
  • Immunization/vaccinations (flu, HPV pneumonia, by age)
  • Medications (side effects, costs, branding, myths)
  • Obesity or eating disorders
  • Poison prevention
  • Pregnancy prevention
  • Tobacco use
  • Wellness (nutrition, healthy habits, stress management)

Projects: Teams can submit a demonstration or video to capture the problem and solution. A brief essay may be used to define the problem and describe the solution (limit 750 words), however, demos and videos (8 minutes or less) are strongly encouraged. We want to see the solution! The reflection piece can be captured through any means, including video (limit 8 minutes), essay (limit 1500 words), social media (using #Pharm4Me + your own creative #hashtag), etc. A reflection piece could include a description of what participants learned about pharmacy, the potential role of pharmacists in identifying/solving community‐based problems, how pharmacists affect this type of setting, and/or how the solution will impact the community.  The project descriptions for the 2019 Innovation Challenge will be announced in September 2018.  

Teams: The team must be comprised of at least one high school student and one student pharmacist. There is no maximum team size.

Prizes: AACP will award a single plaque to the high school and a single plaque to the pharmacy school of each winning team. Each winning team member will also receive a certificate. Student pharmacists on the 1st place team will be invited to attend the 2018 AACP Annual Meeting for an awards ceremony, receive a complimentary meeting registration, and share a single $1000 travel grant. Only student pharmacists who attend are eligible for the grant. If none can attend, the travel grant will be offered to the student pharmacists on the 2nd place team. AACP will also give a cash award to the high school of each winning team to support STEM programs. If there is more than one high school on the winning team, then each high school involved will receive the specified cash award (up to 5): 1st place: $1000; 2nd place: $500; 3rd place: $250.  The prizes for the 2019 Innovation Challenge will be announced in September 2018.  

Competition Assessment Criteria: The 2019 rubric will be announced in September 2018.

Goals: A primary goal of the Pharm4Me Innovation Challenge competition is to stimulate interest in pharmacy careers by exposing high school students to pharmacy or health related problems with opportunities to create innovative community‐based solutions. It is also intended to encourage student pharmacists to advocate for the importance of the role of the pharmacist and demonstrate the impact pharmacists can make on population health.


Want to join the Innovation Challenge but have a few questions? Email us at pharm4me@aacp.org!


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