PHARMACY

CVS Caremark undertakes multiyear study to improve patient medication adherence

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Nonadherence to prescription medications is a big problem — a $200 billion-a-year problem for the already strained U.S. healthcare system.

 

That’s why CVS Caremark’s decision to embark a multiyear study, in partnership with researchers from Harvard and Brigham and Young Women’s Hospital, to find ways to alleviate this burden is important.

 

There’s no doubt that CVS has been active in its quest to help patients improve medication adherence as evidenced by its Proactive Pharmacy Care program, as well as its new ReadyFill program, but there are a few factors that take this initiative one step further.

The research, which will be available not only to CVS affiliates but to all pharmacies, will be used to help doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and health plans design programs and initiatives to bolster patient adherence.

Furthermore, the research agreement will aim to get to the root of the issue by better understanding patient behavior. So to do this, experts in such disciplines as psychology and sociology will be called in to lend their expertise. They will look at such factors as income or marital status; patients’ attitudes about their condition and the importance of medicine; and the trust and communication between the patient, the physician and the pharmacist.

At the end of the day, this is yet one more example of how community pharmacy is positioning itself on the frontlines of healthcare reform. As the future of healthcare reform hangs in the balance, community pharmacy continues to show America what it’s got.

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PHARMACY

Actress Olympia Dukakis, husband to appear in diabetes ads

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Passengers in New York taxis and viewers watching CNN at the airport will see actress Olympia Dukakis and her husband, Louis Zorich, talking about diabetes.

The appearance of the two actors won’t be in a movie, but in a public service announcement that’s part of drug maker Novo Nordisk’s “Ask. Screen. Know.” campaign to encourage diabetes awareness among the elderly.

The ad directs viewers to the Web site www.askscreenknow.com, which allows them to send voicemails and emails under Dukakis’ name encouraging them to undergo diabetes screenings paid for by Medicare.

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FDA approves generic epilepsy treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH Generic drug maker Mylan has received the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for its version of a drug used to treat epilepsy.

Mylan announced Thursday the approval of its topiramate sprinkle capsules in the 15-mg and 25-mg strengths. The capsules are designed to be opened and sprinkled onto soft food and are a generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s Topamax Sprinkle Capsules.

The branded version of the drug had sales of $58 million for the 12-month period ended June 30, according to IMS Health data.

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