PHARMACY

Novo Nordisk develops Cornerstones4Care as diabetes resource

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk has created an online resource for diabetes patients that educates them about Novo Nordisk drugs and devices, recipes and nutritional values, and allows them to connect with other patients.

The company announced Thursday the launch of Cornerstones4Care, which can be accessed at Cornerstones4Care.com and also allows patients to find out if they qualify for an offer by Novo Nordisk intended to help them save money based on four “cornerstones” of diabetes control: checking blood sugar, eating healthy, physical activity and diabetes medications.

“We wanted to provide diabetes patients with a wide range of information and support in these four key areas of diabetes management to help them achieve their personal goals,” Novo Nordisk VP diabetes marketing Camille Lee said. “Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for a long time, everyone needs ongoing support to stay engaged and on track with their diabetes care, and Cornerstones4Care was developed to do that.”

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PHARMACY

Study: Healthcare companies think REMS in need of major overhaul

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON — Various companies in the healthcare industry are uncertain about the benefits of the Food and Drug Administration’s risk evaluation and mitigation strategy program, and most think it needs a major overhaul, according to a study by the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development.

The CSDD called the study the first systematic look at REMS since the FDA introduced the program in 2008. The FDA requires drug companies to create a REMS when the agency decides it is necessary to ensure that a drug’s benefits outweigh its risks.

“A majority of the organizations told us they felt the REMS program needs a major overhaul and said that a REMS is a poor substitute for other improvements needed systemwide in drug education, communication, use monitoring, patient access and delivery of care,” CSDD associate director Christopher-Paul Milne said.

In addition to the three-quarters of respondents — which included drug developers, healthcare providers, insurance companies and others — who said the program needed an overhaul, and the 68% who said REMS programs are a poor substitute for other improvements, 86% said risk and benefit information were not well balanced in REMS communications, while 22% thought REMS was an improvement over the existing risk-management system.

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Trimmed co-pays can help companies save money

BY Alaric DeArment

ORLANDO, Fla. — Companies that lower co-payments on prescription drugs while promoting disease management can lower their own healthcare costs, according to a three-year study commissioned by the Florida Health Care Coalition and published in the journal Health Affairs.

The study, which focused on patients with diabetes, found that companies combining disease-management programs with “value-based insurance design” can earn a return of $1.33 for every dollar they spend upfront on medication.

“Amid soaring healthcare costs, this validates that old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s especially true where it often hurts most: in our pocketbooks,” FHCC president and CEO Becky Cherney said.

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