Shellpak blister packaging could boost medication adherence, study finds
RICHMOND, Va. — Patients who used a calendar blister packaging system for their medications showed greater medication adherence than those using traditional vials, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics.
The study, which used pharmacy dispensing data on 3.1 million pharmacy patients taking generic medications for cardiovascular diseases, found that MeadWestvaco’s Shellpak blister packaging increased the likelihood that they would get refills on their prescriptions. For example, new medication users increased the average length of their therapies by nine days over a year, while ongoing users increased it by five days, and those taking fixed-dose combination formulations of two medications in a single tablet increased it by 12 to 17 days.
In addition, patients using Shellpak were more likely to reach “full refill adherence” at least 80% of days covered with medication in a year than those using vials, with the greatest effect seen in new medication users.
“We know there are many factors affecting medication adherence, and we know that the most successful solutions will involve multiple components,” study author and life sciences research consultancy Venebio founder Lenn Murrelle said. “What’s exciting about this study is that medication packaging alone was found to have a positive effect on medication refill behavior.”
Axium adds new drugs to HepVisions therapy management program
LAKE MARY, Fla. — Specialty pharmacy provider Axium Healthcare Pharmacy has introduced two recently approved hepatitis C drugs to its HepVisions therapy management program, the company said Thursday.
Axium announced the addition of Merck ’s Victrelis (boceprevir) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Incivek (telaprevir) to the program, through which it provides comprehensive compliance support, patient education, side effect management, clinical interventions and communication with the patient and physician.
“Axium is pleased to add Victrelis and Incivek to the HepVisions program,” Axium president and CEO Mark Montgomery said. “The new triple therapy regimen is complex and expensive. Careful patient education, monitoring and adherence are keys to successful treatment.”
Both of the drugs are approved for use in a triple therapy that includes pegylated interferon, a type of biotech drug used for hepatitis C, and ribavirin, a generic antiviral.
Sanofi, Audion enter research collaboration for hearing loss treatments
PARIS — French drug maker Sanofi has entered a collaboration with Audion Therapeutics to develop treatments for hearing loss.
Sanofi announced the collaboration Thursday, which will utilize technology that Audion co-founder Albert Edge developed at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory. Sanofi will have the option of licensing technology rights from Audion related to research conducted under the collaboration.
“Our new relationship with Audion demonstrates our commitment to work with partners on conditions with unmet and growing medical needs, such as hearing loss,” Sanofi president for global research and development Elias Zerhouni said.