ATLANTA PharmaCentra, a marketing firm that provides customized healthcare management programs for the pharmaceutical industry, will be partnering up with two schools to increase glaucoma patients’ treatment compliance.
The Atlanta-based company will be teaming up with the Rollins School of Public Health, and the Department of Ophthalmology at the School of Medicine at Emory University to determine if new technology increases a patient’s likelihood to adhere to their treatment routine.
The study, which will begin in 2008, is funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, will assess the efficacy of the WellTouch system, which provides glaucoma patients with customized print materials and interactive telephone messages to assure their medical routines are being followed. A total of 250 patients will be participating in the study.
Study partakers will be interviewed every six months over an 18-month time period to gather data that will help verify treatment compliance related to prescription refills, keeping appointments, and medication consumption.
Throughout this study, investigators will be able to track patient progress and monitor their level of compliance, and also, measure the cost-effectiveness of the program as well.
Nearly 30% of all patients stop taking prescribed medication within the first few months of treatment, PharmaCentra said. Glaucoma patients who stop treatment are at a high risk of going blind. Reasons for noncompliance can range from forgetfulness to difficulty administering eye drops.
“Our goal is to identify the causes of patients’ noncompliance with glaucoma treatment and then to provide an individually tailored, low cost and effective intervention to improve compliance,” said Dr. Karen Glanz, principal investigator on the project and professor at the Rollins School of Public Health.