Pushing the pharmacy profession forward

Stacey D’Angelo
Stacey D’Angelo
Pharmacy alum Stacey D’Angelo boosts patient health by deprescribing meds, focusing on holistic health, mental well-being and personalized medicine

For people with who have been taking multiple medications for years, or those taking medication which can cause withdrawal or rebound symptoms, the notion of deprescribing can be scary, even if it may improve their health and well-being.

Deprescribing, the supervised process of reducing or stopping medication use, is at the core of Stacey D’Angelo’s (BScPhm ’12) innovative health service in the pharmacy space. D’Angelo is a pharmacist, entrepreneur and founder of Your Simple Health , where she works directly with patients to help optimize, streamline and reduce medication use.

"I am passionate about helping improving health outcomes for patients and helping them feel better," D’Angelo says. "My goal is to give patients the confidence that the medications they are on are right for them and empower them to make better informed health decisions."

D’Angelo’s approach is holistic, she empowers patients by implementing lifestyle strategies to set them up for success.

"The holistic term can have a negative connotation around it. This is a whole person approach. Recognizing that it’s not just about the medications but is everything that the patient does to cultivate their health," D’Angelo says.

Taking multiple medications, known as polypharmacy, heightens risk for patients. With each additional medication, the likelihood of experiencing falls and hospitalizations increases. The goal is to re-evaluate medications to see where medications can be reduced to improve health outcomes and quality of life.

Along with collaborating with patients’ prescribers to deprescribe safely, D’Angelo helps patients implement lifestyle strategies to manage their health. "For patients who use medications that are difficult to stop, mindset work is key to help overcome their fears that come with deprescribing," D’Angelo says.

"What can we do outside of the prescription to help taper patients off medications," she adds.

D’Angelo also helps optimize medications using pharmacogenomics (PGx), a proactive approach to personalizing medicine. PGx testing involves a simple saliva test to understand the right medicines for you based on your DNA. Particularly helpful in the realm of mental health, PGx helps to understand which medications are more likely to work for the patient and which are more likely to cause side effects or other associated risks, avoiding typical trial and error.

Some patients are held back from utilizing these services because of cost. D’Angelo hopes to improve access by advocating for future private insurance coverage, given that many pharmacy services lack private health plan coverage, unlike those provided by other health-care providers. Her goal is to inspire other pharmacists to use their knowledge and skills in this area to help move the profession forward and implement deprescribing on a broad scale.

Read more about D’Angelo’s entrepreneurship journey through the Women in Pharmacy Leadership Alumni Mentorship Program.
Milana Madzarac