Novo Nordisk partners with Paula Deen in new diabetes initiative
PRINCETON, N.J. — Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk is partnering with cooking show host Paula Deen to launch a campaign to help adults find ways to manage challenges associated with Type 2 diabetes, the company said Tuesday.
Deen and her sons, Bobby and Jamie, star in a series of videos as part of the Diabetes in a New Light initiative, in which Deen is sharing her personal diabetes story for the first time.
"I was determined to share my positive approach and not let diabetes stand in the way of enjoying my life," Deen said. "I’m excited to team up with Novo Nordisk on this initiative to show others that managing diabetes does not have to stop you from enjoying the things you love."
The initiative will include resources, such as recipes for dishes that are safe for people with diabetes but don’t compromise taste, instructions on incorporating physical activity into everyday life, managing stress and working with healthcare providers.
FDA issues alert about sharing of insulin pens
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration’s latest message to consumers and healthcare professionals seems like a no-brainer: "Insulin pens are not for sharing."
But the agency said it knew of two undisclosed hospitals that it said had reused the cartridge components of insulin pens in administering insulin to more than 2,000 patients, though the hospitals reportedly changed the pens themselves.
This may have put the patients at risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne viruses, the agency said, citing an alert it issued in March 2009. The FDA said the hospitals have been contacting the patients involved and offering to test them for hepatitis and HIV; some of the patients reportedly have tested positive for hepatitis C, though whether they contracted it from the pens remains unclear.
Pharmacy Advisor program proving that it fills gaps in care
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The results of CVS Caremark’s study, which found that its Pharmacy Advisor program increased medication adherence rates and physician initiation of prescriptions, is important as it further underscores the benefits of the program, and those benefits are bound to becomes even greater as the retailer gears up for the next generation of the clinical program.
(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark study: Pharmacy Advisor improved diabetes Rx initiation, adherence rates. For the full story, click here)
The research showed that contacts by pharmacists with the patients and their doctors increased therapy initiation rates by as much as 39% for the full sample and an even higher 68% for the group counseled at retail stores, and increased medication adherence rates by 2.1%. The researchers noted that face-to-face interventions by retail store pharmacists resulted in increasing adherence rates by 3.9%.
The integrated pharmacy-based program featured counseling by pharmacists at 12 retail stores near the manufacturing client’s headquarters, and counseling through a pharmacist call center for those identified as having diabetes. CVS Caremark launched Pharmacy Advisor for diabetes in 2009 because the cost and prevalence of that disease continues to rise. The American Diabetes Association estimates the cost of the disease to the U.S. in 2007 at $174 billion.
During the company’s 2011 Analyst Day in late December, Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer, noted that, “As we rolled out the Pharmacy Advisor program last year at this time we thought that perhaps clients with one to three million members would be interested, it was a new program and all. But on April 1 … we started with nearly 12 members and have been tracking results since.”
Brennan said that within that population of 12 million members there are roughly 700,000 diabetics, and in just over six months of enrollment it had delivered more than one million interventions — the overwhelming number of them at the retail level. That has led to 470,000 communications about gaps in care and more than 110,000 changes in medications. Those are impressive numbers.
Now, the company is looking to expand the program with the launch of Pharmacy Advisor 3.0, which will include additional disease states and additional clinical intervention opportunities. The program clearly marks one more way in which CVS Caremark is helping to drive adherence and lower costs.