Study: SNAP can reduce cost-related nonadherence
New data from a study in the latest issue of the American Journal of Public Health is highlighting the impact that patient access to food assistance can have on medication adherence. For the study, IMPAQ Health researchers examined rates of cost-related nonadherence on patients enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program compared with eligible nonparticipants.
Among patients receiving SNAP benefits, cost-related nonadherence was found to be 4.8 percentage points less likely that those who didn’t receive benefits. Researchers noted that the impact of SNAP on adherence lapses related to cost was even more pronounced among older recipients who were food insecure.
“The high cost of prescription medication can lead to tradeoffs between medication and other necessities, such as food or utilities,” study lead author and co-principal investigator Mithuna Srinivasan said. “This, in turn, can manifest as cost-related nonadherence, including such behaviors as skipping or stopping medications due to cost. While SNAP’s primary goal is to improve access to food, we wanted to test whether the program might help older adults better afford their prescription medications, conceivably by reducing out-of-pocket expenditures on food.”
Currently, between 40% and 45% of eligible low-income adults participate in SNAP. Researchers added that potential stigma around SNAP could be mitigated by reframing it as a healthy subsidy program. The study also notes that that payers and health systems could consider screening patients for food insecurity, offering referrals to organizations offering enrollment assistance for SNAP and other programs. It also suggests that payers consider reimbursing health systems for food security screenings and referrals.
However, as much as SNAP helped, it can’t eliminate nonadherence related to cost entirely.
“More efforts are needed to overcome the financial barriers to medication adherence than SNAP can address on its own,” co-principal investigator Jennifer Pooler said.
The read the study, click here.
Amneal launches generic Entocort EC
Amneal Pharmaceuticals on Thursday introduced its generic Entocort EC (budesonide capsules). The product is indicated to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Amneal’s generic will be available in 3-mg dosage strength. Entocort EC and its generic equivalents had U.S. sales of roughly $187 million for the 12 months ended November 2017, according to IQVIA data.
Walmart unveils one-of-a-kind opioid disposal effort
Walmart is taking action to help fight the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
The nation’s largest retailer is launching a first-of-its-kind opioid disposal solution — available at no cost — in its 4,7000 pharmacies nationwide, including those at Sam’s Club. Called DisposeRx, the product provides a virtually effortless way for patients to destroy leftover opioids. It contains ingredients that when emptied into the opioid pill bottle and combined with warm water, creates a biodegradable gel that can be thrown out safely in the trash. The solution will be provided in addition to ongoing counseling available to customers on proper opioid use when filling an opioid prescription at a Walmart pharmacy.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, more than 65% of people misusing prescription opioids are getting them from family and friends, and personal prescriptions are one of the main sources of nonmedical opioid abuse.
Beginning immediately, customers filling any new Class II opioid prescription at Walmart pharmacies will receive a free DisposeRx packet and opioid safety information brochure when picking up their prescription. Patients with chronic Class II opioid prescriptions will be offered a free DisposeRx packet every six months. Existing pharmacy patients can also request a free DisposeRx packet at any time, including at the upcoming Walmart Wellness Day event on January 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time at all Walmart locations nationwide. Additionally, Sam’s Club patients can access Dispose Rx at their pharmacies.
“While this issue requires many resources to solve, we are confident this unique, easy-to-use disposal solution, DisposeRx, will make a meaningful impact on the lives of many,” said Marybeth Hays, executive VP of consumables and health and wellness at Walmart U.S. “Walmart is incredibly proud to fund this initiative that provides our patients with an opioid disposal solution they can access nationwide, at no cost.”