UNM College of Pharmacy Faculty to Study Aspirin/Ibuprofen Interaction and the Impact of Pharmacists' Relationships with Diabetic Patients


James Nawarskas, Pharm.D., and Marcia M. Worley-Louis, Ph.D., assistant professors in the UNM College of Pharmacy, have received funding from the New Investigators Program of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Nawarskas, an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy, will study aspirin/ibuprofen interactions. Worley-Louis, an assistant professor of pharmacy administration, will study how the professional relationships diabetics have with their pharmacists impact their perceptions of their medication knowledge and their confidence to successfully manage their medications.

Awards made through the New Investigators Program are supported by the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education. The New Investigators Program assists the research careers of new pharmacy college and school faculty by providing start-up funding for their research.

Eligible investigators are in their first to fifth year of academic appointment in a pharmacy school.

Nawarskas' study is titled "Characterization of an Interaction Between Aspirin and Ibuprofen" and will determine whether ibuprofen can affect the ability of aspirin to inhibit the formation of blood clots. The study will elaborate on research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, which concluded last year that ibuprofen could have some effect.

"Those results require further investigation," Nawarskas said. "We're setting out to get as much practical information as we can about this interaction."

If ibuprofen does indeed affect aspirin's ability to inhibit blood clots, Nawarskas said, the implications are enormous heart patients take aspirin everyday, and they could be putting themselves at risk when they reach for the ibuprofen to treat headaches, menstrual cramps or other pains.

In Nawarskas' study, volunteers will take drugs and have their blood checked throughout the day for platelet aggregation, an indicator of the blood's ability to clot.

Nawarskas received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Toledo and his Pharm.D. from SUNY Buffalo. He joined the UNM College of Pharmacy in 1997 after completing a fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.

Worley-Louis' study is titled "Investigating the Influence of Participative and Patient-Centered Pharmacist Patient Relationships on Diabetic Patients' Self Efficacy for Medication Management." She will study what kind of impact the pharmacist-patient relationship has on the diabetic patient's perceptions of knowledge about his or her medications and confidence to successfully manage his/her medications.

"Often, diabetics take many complex medications, and there can be problems using medications properly," Worley-Louis said. "Pharmacists are very accessible the community pharmacist is often the last healthcare professional the patient interacts with before the patient returns home and has to use medications on his/her own.   I want to find out how pharmacists can influence these outcomes in the diabetic patient."

Worley-Louis will survey older diabetic patients (65 years of age and older) from throughout the country for her study. 

Worley-Louis received her Bachelor of Pharmacy and Behavioral Neuroscience degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, a master's degree in Pharmacy Administration from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Minnesota. She joined the UNM College of Pharmacy last year.

Grant recipients were named by the AACP's Academic Sections Coordinating Committee. Eleven panels, totaling 33 members and representing the biological sciences, chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacy practice and social and administrative sciences, also conducted reviews of the proposals.

For more information about the UNM College of Pharmacy, please visit http://hsc.unm.edu/pharmacy/

Contact: Lynn Melton, 272-3322

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