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College of Pharmacy Professor Receives ASHP Foundation's 2012 Drug Therapy Research Literature Award

by Rodney Tanaka

November 20, 2012

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Olivia Phung, PharmD, assistant professor of pharmacy practice for the College of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. received the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Research and Education Foundation’s 2012 Drug Therapy Research Literature Award.

The award is one of five bestowed annually as part of the ASHP Foundation’s Literature Awards program, which honors important contributions by pharmacists to biomedical literature. The Literature Awards are given to individuals who publish high-impact articles in primary, peer-reviewed biomedical literature. Emphasis is placed on originality, innovation, impact, and quality of the contributed articles.

Phung’s winning article, “”Oral Antidiabetic Drugs for the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes,”” was co-authored with Nitesh A. Sood, MD, Bruce E. Sill, PharmD, and Craig I. Coleman, PharmD, and published in Diabetic Medicine (Diabet Med. 2011;28:948-64).

The research that Phung and her team conducted provides a comprehensive synthesis of the available evidence on the efficacy of drugs used to prevent type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 26 million Americans have diabetes. Type 2 is the most common, and occurs when the body becomes insulin-resistant. It is a major risk factor for long-term complications like cardiovascular disease.

“”If there is anything we can do pharmacologically to prevent diabetes, it’s worth investigating,”” said Phung. “”This research is innovative in that it uses a sophisticated statistical technique to put together and synthesize data from multiple different trials and to evaluate multiple different therapies, in order to yield numerical results that will allow comparisons between any two therapies, even if they were never compared in a single trial.””

The research team conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, evaluating oral antidiabetic drugs in patients with prediabetes to determine their efficacy in preventing the progression to type 2 diabetes. After putting together 20 randomized controlled trials, thiazolidinediones, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors and biguanides significantly reduced the risk of developing diabetes, compared to control by 64, 40, and 27 percent, respectively. Of the different classes of oral antidiabetic medications evaluated, thiazolidinediones showed the highest risk reduction compared with control.

“”I am happy that this work is being honored with this award,”” said Phung. “”It’s great that the ASHP Foundation gives out this award every year, because it highlights the important role that pharmacists have as researchers.””

The ASHP Foundation will recognize Phung, along with the other 2012 Literature Award recipients, at an awards breakfast in Las Vegas on Dec. 5.

Related Resources

The Literature Awards Program, which was established in 1970, has recognized more than 400 practitioners for their significant contributions to the literature of pharmacy practice. For more information regarding this award, please visit For a complete listing of the 2012 recipients of the Literature Awards, visit

About the ASHP Foundation

The ASHP Research and Education Foundation ( was established in 1968 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists ( as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. As the philanthropic arm of ASHP, our vision is that patient outcomes improve because of the leadership and clinical skills of pharmacists, as vital members of the health care team, accountable for safe and effective medication use. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of patients in health systems through appropriate, safe and effective medication use.

Contact Information

Daniel J. Cobaugh, PharmD

Vice President

ASHP Foundation


Bethany L. Coulter, MA

Director of Communications & Events

ASHP Foundation


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