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School of Pharmacy Receives Driving Simulator

DriveSafety - David Eagerton

Thanks to a grant from the Fullerton Foundation, the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy received a CDS-250 DriveSafety driving simulator that will help with research on effects of medications on drivers.

Dr. David Eagerton currently works with psychologists, engineers, and physicians from Clemson University in research that examines the effects of medications on elderly drivers. They will soon begin a project that will examine the effects of medication on college-age drivers as well.

“We’ll start with the medicines for attention deficit disorders and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders because those drugs are commonly prescribed in that population and have a potential to be abused by a large segment of that population,” Eagerton said.

In addition, the research will determine what the “Use Caution When Driving” message actually means when shown on prescribed medication with potential to cause degradation of driving.

“What does that mean?” Eagerton said. “Most people don’t know what that means. We don’t have a lot of that information.”

“The beauty of [this research] is having that information and teaching pharmacists what it really means and how important it really is because pharmacists are still one of the most trusted members of the community. They can help educate their patients and the physicians.”

The driving simulator is the same kind that Eagerton and the research group from Clemson use at Clemson, the Greenville Hospital, and Palmetto Richland Hospital.

“As a school, it gives us a tool that we could use to train not only our students but the whole community of pharmacists in general about real information about drugs and driving.”

Before becoming a pharmacy professor at the PC School of Pharmacy, Dr. David Eagerton served 12 years as the chief toxicologist for South Carolina’s Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Now Eagerton is using his background in toxicology to conduct research that will benefit pharmacists and members of the community.