UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

Research Examines How Pharmacists Can Enhance Family Practice Settings

March 17, 2020

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Senior Director of Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler announced today that graduating student Monica Lewis of Whitehouse conducted foundational research that examined how much of an impact a pharmacist has on patients’ drug monitoring at the clinical level.

For the study, Lewis performed a Medication Use Evaluation (MUE) to determine how appropriately and effectively the blood thinner warfarin was being managed before pharmacist services were implemented at a family practice clinic in Tyler. She collaborated with Dr. Takova Wallace-Gay, UT Tyler clinical assistant professor.

“Pharmacists are able to take a little more time to talk with patients, so they will be able to gather all of the information about the patient before making any recommendations for dose changes,” Lewis said.

Warfarin is a blood thinner that requires close monitoring to make sure that the patient’s blood is not too thin or too thick. According to Lewis, dangerous fluctuations can happen when a patient changes their medications or even their diet.

“We are looking for areas to add value to our clinic settings, and exploring the need for better anticoagulation control is an initial step in that process,” Wallace-Gay said. “The next steps will be to expand the study and review patients on all anticoagulants, not just warfarin.”

A UT Tyler undergraduate alumna with a bachelor of science in biology, Lewis will graduate with a Pharm.D. this May. She plans to pursue a pharmacy residency and become a clinical pharmacist.

“I like the idea of bringing a much-needed healthcare profession to more people in East Texas,” Lewis said. “East Texas has such a need for pharmacists; they’re a great resource that people often forget about.”

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered to nearly 10,000 students. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News and World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.