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Walgreens study: Pharmacist intervention improves statin adherence

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD Ill. — A Walgreens study released Wednesday has found that patients starting high cholesterol medication for the first time who participated in enhanced face-to-face counseling sessions with a community pharmacist demonstrated better medication adherence than those who did not participate in the sessions.

Nonadherence is an especially important issue for patients with high cholesterol, as it places them at a greater risk of complications from heart disease. The study, titled "The impact of pharmacist face-to-face counseling to improve medication adherence among patients initiating statin therapy," was published in April in the online journal, Patient Preference and Adherence.
 
“This study demonstrates the power of face-to-face pharmacist interactions,” said Jeff Kang, Walgreens SVP health and wellness services and solutions. “Just two sessions focused on barriers to adherence for patients taking a new medicine for high cholesterol helped them establish a routine for adhering to their treatment. As a result, these patients potentially improved their long-term health outcomes. At Walgreens, our goal is to help our patients stay well while reducing overall healthcare costs and programs that address the significant issue of prescription medication nonadherence are a crucial element of this.”
 
To conduct the study, a group of more than 2,000 patients new to statin therapy were followed for 12 months. After inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, the intervention group consisted of 586 patients, and the comparison group comprised 516 patients. Pharmacists trained in brief motivational interviewing conducted counseling sessions that addressed barriers to adherence for statin patients, such as perceptions of the value of the therapy, fear of side effects and simple forgetfulness or establishing a routine to take medication.
 
The study found that at 12 months the intervention group had significantly greater adherence than the comparison group. Some of the study findings included:

  • The intervention group had an average adherence of 61.8% and the comparison group had 56.9%;

  • 40.9% of the intervention group and only 33.7% of comparison group achieved the clinically important 80% adherence; and

  • 43.9% of the intervention group and 38.2% of comparison group continued taking their statin medication.


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Schiff to change ticker symbol from WNI to SHF

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY — Schiff Nutrition International is scheduled to change its NYSE ticker symbol and, effective June 11, the stock will begin trading under the symbol SHF.

“We are focused on building premium brands and leading innovation in heart health, joint care, immune support, digestive health and other key nutritional supplement conditions," Schiff CEO Tarang Amin said. "We are excited to begin trading under a new ticker symbol NYSE: SHF that more closely reflects our company name.”

The company was first listed on the New York Stock exchange in 1997 as Weider Nutrition International (NYSE: WNI). In 2005, the company changed its name to Schiff Nutrition International.


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Younger adults consider, opt for green products

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Environmental issues continue to be either "extremely" or "very" important to U.S. adults — especially those ages 18 to 24 years — when deciding which products or services to purchase, according to a new poll from Harris Interactive.

The Harris poll discovered that among U.S. adults ages 18 to 24 years, that number has increased from 22% in 2009 to 31%. Additionally, more than one-third (35%) of them said they were willing to pay extra for a green product — compared with 27% in 2010 and 25% in 2009 — while 11% of them said they seek out green products and services regardless of the cost (compared with 4% of all U.S. adults surveyed). Harris Interactive did find, however, that 51% of respondents in this demographic said they were unwilling to pay extra for green products.

"Considering the sharp uptick in reported purchasing behavior among young American adults, we may very well see environmental issues grow in importance in the years to come, as these younger Americans see their purchasing power increase as they move into and advance in the workplace," Harris Interactive said.

Overall, 26% of 2,451 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older have expressed this sentiment; however, it virtually has remained unchanged since 2009: 27% of U.S. adults said environmental issues were extremely/very important to their purchasing decisions in 2010, while 26% said the same in 2009. Despite this, the number that remains consistent across gender, geography, education and income, Harris Interactive noted.

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