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Medical school receives grant for HIV clinic pharmacist

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Dec. 18, 2001)   —   The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has received a $59,244 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to hire a full-time pharmacist to work in the ECU HIV clinic and clinics in Washington and Wilson.

The grant, which will be paid over two years, will be supplemented by a $10,000 grant from Agouron Pharmaceuticals and matching funds from the Brody School of Medicine and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Engel, ECU associate professor of medicine, described contemporary HIV treatment as "highly active anti-retroviral therapy. It's become a very pharmaceutical-intensive disease."

An HIV patient may take as many as 40 pills daily, resulting in high costs, side effects and "pill fatigue." Predictably, patients not following their medication regimen is one of the main reasons their health declines. Engel said that providing patients with a clinical pharmacist to educate them about their medications and help them obtain insurance coverage for them has proved very successful.

The pharmacist will see patients in Wilson and Washington one afternoon a week, where approximately 100 HIV patients are treated, and spend the rest of the time at the ECU clinic, where approximately 800 HIV patients receive care.

Created in 1947, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is named for the late Kate Bitting Reynolds. She designated that one-fourth of the income from the trust be used for the poor and needy in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and that three-fourths of the income be used for charity patients in N.C. hospitals.

Agouron Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Pfizer, was organized in 1984 to bring a fresh approach to the discovery of new therapeutic drugs for treatment of cancer, AIDS and other serious diseases.


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481