PHARMACY

Pharmacists key to collaborative care model

BY Jim Frederick

It’s getting progressively easier for pharmacy to prove its worth.

Case studies demonstrating the value of collaborative care health programs involving pharmacists keep pouring into the nation’s medical record. Among the latest is a slew of initiatives from around the United States aimed at improving patients’ blood pressure scores and other health measurements.

A health improvement advocacy group called the Community Preventive Services Task Force took a hard look at no fewer than 77 of those initiatives in a major study of the value of collaborative care health delivery models. What emerged from that study, clear as crystal, was the value pharmacists bring to integrated healthcare teams.

"When pharmacists were added to teams, the median improvement in the proportion of patients with controlled blood pressure was considerably higher than the overall median increase for this outcome," the task force concluded.

The projects were based on "team-based care organized primarily with nurses and pharmacists working in collaboration with primary care providers, patients and other professionals," according to the group. Pharmacists were key to successful efforts to lower patients’ blood pressure, both by helping them "understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed" via medication therapy management, and by "helping patients adhere to their medication regimen can help patients improve their health, as well as reduce healthcare costs" the task force reported.

Are these kinds of collaborative health initiatives taking root in your community, or within your own pharmacy? What kind of impact are you seeing? As always, please let us know.

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PHARMACY

Reports: ‘Track and trace’ may be part of PDUFA reauthorization

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Federal and industry officials have been negotiating a federal track-and-trace system as part of a reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, according to published reports.

Politico reported that the Food and Drug Administration and industry stakeholders were debating about what a track-and-trace system, designed to keep counterfeit drugs out of the supply chain, would look like. Industry leaders, represented by the Pharmaceutical Distribution Safety Alliance, proposed requiring individual serial numbers for each lot of drugs, which could be checked against a central database.

The news site reported that industry stakeholders would prefer a national system over a system of state-by-state pedigree laws, but the FDA was not satisfied with what it was reported to regard as a weaker tracking system.


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PHARMACY

GSK, Auxilium to co-promote testosterone therapy

BY Alaric DeArment

MALVERN, Pa. — The U.S. subsidiary of British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and U.S.-based Auxilium Pharmaceuticals will co-promote a testosterone-replacement drug, the two said Monday.

GSK and Auxilium announced an agreement for the co-promotion of Testim 1% (testosterone gel), used in men with conditions related to deficiency or absence of the hormone.

"Today, GlaxoSmithKline and Auxilium have forged a collaboration to expand our reach to U.S. physicians who treat men with low testosterone and its resulting symptoms, known as hypogonadism, which we believe is a prevalent but poorly recognized condition," Auxilium president and CEO Adrian Adams said. "While the Auxilium sales force has consistently performed well in an increasingly competitive environment, adding the strength and breadth of GSK’s U.S. commercialization organization will further enhance our sales efforts with U.S. physicians who treat this condition."

Under the agreement — for which precise financial terms were not disclosed — GSK will have the exclusive right to co-promote Testim with Auxilium in the United States through September 2015. Auxilium will be responsible for commercial drug manufacturing, supply and regulatory activities, while GSK will receive compensation based on net sales and tail payments.

Testosterone therapies are about $1.6 billion per year, including $1.4 billion for testosterone gels, according to IMS Health.

 


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