PHARMACY

Adherence is boosted by face-to-face contact, study finds

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Pharmacists at a retail pharmacy are the most influential healthcare "voice" in getting patients to take their medications as prescribed, followed by nurses talking with patients as they are discharged from a hospital, according to research sponsored by CVS Caremark.

The research, based on a review of more than 40 years of studies published in medical journals, found that both in-store pharmacists and hospital-based nurses are more effective than pharmacists communicating to a patient via the telephone or doctors instructing patients regarding prescriptions. The study looked at in-person, electronic, telephonic, fax and mail communications.

These findings are contained in two separate reviews of medical journal studies sponsored by CVS Caremark and carried out by a team of researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and CVS Caremark.

This week, the American Journal of Managed Care published a review that focused on communications between pharmacists and nurses with their patients. The AJMC study built upon a review by the same researchers that focused on doctor and patient communications, which was published last May in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"There have been many studies on the subject of boosting adherence. We decided it was important to review the total body of work to determine which communication channel had the greatest impact," stated William Shrank of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard, and a lead author of the studies. Shrank said the researchers combed through more than 6,500 medical journal articles published between 1966 and Dec. 31, 2008, before reviewing 168 articles in full.

The study found that programs using mail, fax and brochure-type (nonpersonal) communications had relatively low impact on promoting patient adherence. A review of the use of electronic communications, such as videos and interactive technology, showed promise but those communications were determined to have medium impact on increasing adherence among patients.

The highest impact programs featured work by pharmacists talking to patients in a store, followed by nurses talking face-to-face with patients who were leaving a hospital, the researchers concluded. Face-to-face discussions between pharmacists and patients in a store were twice as effective in boosting adherence rates as programs where pharmacists talked with patients on the telephone, the researchers found.

"These findings offer payers, healthcare providers and policy-makers guidance about how to develop programs that improve patient adherence," added Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark and an author of both reviews. "We know that pharmacists and nurses are among the most trusted healthcare professionals. This study shows that trust translates into effective patient communications."

The study is a product of CVS Caremark’s previously announced three-year collaboration with Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to research pharmacy claims data to better understand patient behavior, particularly around medication adherence.

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M.SONI says:
May-27-2013 07:48 am

This post is very interesting and I like to read it. It is providing such a helpful information about healthcare and boosting adherence. There are also great work done by AJMC who done study on this topic. Thank You. By the way I am Mayur Soni from Hammersmith, London. I am provider of Cabs and airport transfer service. www.dialacarlondon.com

C.MOORE says:
Nov-14-2011 09:49 pm

I'd like to read this study. I see no mention of which healthcare professionals were studied,other than hospital discharging RNs and community pharmacists. As a Certified Diabetes Educator, I know that CDEs across the country spend a great deal of time instructing patients in the importance of taking their medications and taking them correctly. Can you please post a like so we can see who did the study, how many patients they studied, and what health professionals were evaluated?

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Biogen acquires rights to neuro disease programs

BY Jim Frederick

WESTON, Mass. and ZURICH — In a deal that will bolster its drug development capabilities, Biogen Idec has acquired a subsidiary of Swiss-based Neurimmune Holding AG.

Among other assets, the agreement gives Biogen the worldwide rights to three preclinical immunotherapy programs. The three programs are focused on the discovery and development of novel human antibodies that address three central nervous system targets: alpha-synuclein, tau and TDP-43.

“These targets are believed to be relevant for the treatment and prevention of a wide variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” both companies said in a joint statement. Biogen revealed it will make an initial payment of $32.5 million for the rights to the three programs in pre-clinical development, and up to $395 million in contingent payments. Under terms of the deal, Biogen will be responsible for the development of the preclinical candidates and the commercialization of all products.

Neurimmune will pursue additional scientific activities with respect to the lead candidates as well as the discovery of back-up candidates, utilizing its Reverse Translational Medicine technology platform.

Neurimmune also retains the right to use its platform for creating therapeutic antibody products outside the scope of its agreement with Biogen, according to the agreement.

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In pact with Oncolys, Bristol-Myers Squibb snags rights to investigational HIV compound

BY Jim Frederick

NEW YORK and TOKYO — Bristol-Myers Squibb has signed a definitive licensing pact with Oncolys BioPharma, a privately held Japanese biotech company, that will give it control of a promising new HIV treatment.

Under terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture, develop and market festinavir, a once-a-day, orally available nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor in phase-2 development for HIV. The deal could provide as much as $286 million in upfront, development, regulatory and sales milestone payments to Oncolys, as well as potential royalties on worldwide sales of festinavir.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb has been dedicated to helping patients prevail over HIV for more than two decades and is committed to the ongoing discovery, development and delivery of medicines to fight HIV/AIDS globally,” said Brian Daniels, SVP development. “The profile of festinavir offers the possibility of improvement in the safety of long-term HIV treatment, an area of significant unmet medical need.”

Oncolys president and CEO Yasuo Urata expressed high hopes for the medicine.

“For many years I have been working for the development of medicines in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and I’m convinced that festinavir has the possibility to be a potent and effective NRTI with a promising resistance profile,” Urata said. “Also, festinavir’s once-daily dosage is essential for treating HIV patients worldwide.”

Early preclinical studies suggested that festinavir, which was licensed to Oncolys in 2006 from Yale University, “could have an improved safety profile over previous generations of NRTIs,” both companies noted in a joint statement.

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