PrEP
PHARMACY

AIDSVu puts PrEP data in focus

BY David Salazar

AIDSVu has rolled out an interactive, state-level map that visualizes the adoption of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, or PrEP, use, showing a 73% year-over-year increase from 2012 to 2016.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that an estimated 1.2 million people are at high risk of HIV exposure and would benefit from HIV prevention strategies that include PrEP. The map — from the eight-year-old project developed by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and Gilead Sciences, maker of Truvada, which is commonly prescribed as PrEP — highlights the 77,120 patients taking PrEP in 2016 and breaks patients down by age and sex.

PrEP users are predominantly men, who make up 93% of PrEP patients in 2016. That year, men also comprised 81% of new HIV diagnoses in 2016. And while women made up 19% of 2016’s HIV diagnoses, only 7% of PrEP users were women.

“PrEP is a revolution in HIV prevention and has the potential to dramatically reduce new HIV infections; however, significant disparities in the use of PrEP exist across the country,” AIDSVu principal scientist and Rollins School of Public Health professor of epidemiology Patrick Sullivan said. “Expanding access to PrEP is a core component of Getting to Zero campaigns in cities and states across the country and is one of four key focus areas in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. We hope that the newly available data on AIDSVu will allow health departments, elected officials, medical professionals, and community leaders to better understand and visualize the realities of who has access to this important prevention tool so they can develop programs and policies to decrease barriers.”

Among the disparities the map highlights is the fact that, while PrEP use increased 880% between 2012 and 2016, the gains have been largely concentrated in a handful of states, with high-risk regions lagging behind. Roughly 50% of 2016 PrEP patients were in New York, Illinois, California, Texas or Florida. And though South accounted for 52% of all new HIV diagnoses in 2016, only 30% of PrEP users are concentrated in the region. Comparatively, the Northeast’s PrEP use rate was more than twice that of the South, West and Midwest, with 47.4 PrEP patients per 100,000 people.

Retail pharmacy has recently taken up the mantle of making PrEP accessible to more patients, with Walgreens last year rolling out PrEP prescribing services its Healthcare Clinic locations. The offering started as a pilot in the Houston area last April, expanding to 17 markets across nine states and Washington, D.C.

“As we continue to help improve the comprehensive health and wellbeing of our patients, while also supporting communities across the nation that are impacted by HIV, we are looking forward to rolling out our prevention initiative more broadly,” Walgreens Healthcare Clinics chief medical officer Pat Caroll said in July.

AIDSVu used de-identified aggregate data from Source Healthcare Analytics with the support of Gilead. SHA uses data from more than 54,000 pharmacies, 1,500 hospitals, 800 outpatient facilities and roughly 80,000 doctor’s offices nationwide, and AIDSVu said it presents a subset of this data. AIDSVu also offers a PrEP locator tool.

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PHARMACY

Sandoz Canada intros 2 hypertension generics

BY David Salazar

Sandoz Canada is bringing Canadian patients two new generics to treat hypertension. The Boucherville, Quebec-based company is introducing generic Coversyl (perindopril erbumine) and generic Coversyl Plus (perindopril erbumine/indapamide).

“We are very pleased to be bringing cost-effective generic alternatives to these important medicines to Canadians across the country,” Sandoz Canada president and general manager Michel Robidoux said. “[These products] will help to make high-quality treatment more accessible to Canadians and could save the health care system millions of dollars every year through prescription of high-quality, cost-effective generics.”

Sandoz Canada’s generic Coversyl is an ACE inhibitor indicated to treat mild-to-moderate  hypertension and congestive heart failure in adults. It will be available in 2-, 4- and 8-mg dosage strength tablets. The generic Coversyl Plus includes the addition of diuretics. It will be available in tablets with dosage strengths of  2 mg/0.625 mg, 4 mg/1.25 mg and 8 mg/2.5 mg.

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CVS Pharmacy ScriptPath
PHARMACY

CVS Health’s ScriptPath wins PBMI Excellence Award

BY David Salazar

The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute has awarded CVS Health its 2018 Excellence Award for its ScriptPath Prescription Schedule. Rolled out last fall, the prescription schedule is designed to offer patients a consolidated view of their current prescriptions that outlines when and how to take each prescribed medication.

“We are pleased to be recognized with this award for our industry-leading work to bring the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule to patients as we help them on their path to better health,” CVS Health chief medical officer Troyen Brennan said. “For CVS Health, this award validates our efforts to develop innovative programs that improve patient engagement and medication adherence, better manage chronic diseases like diabetes and help clients keep their health care costs down.”

CVS Health said that studies have found that patients see a decrease in adherence between 5.7% and 6.8% for each dose added to their medication regimen, and that hospital readmission rates increase by as much as 69% for patients who don’t adhere to their therapies — to the tune of $100 billion to $300 billion in healthcare costs. The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule was designed to use the proprietary Clinical Engine to review a patient’s medications, creating a schedule that divides the medications into as many as four dosing times per day.

The prescription schedule also marks the first in a series of ScriptPath efforts that CVS Pharmacy is undertaking. This spring, it is bringing patients the ScriptPath Prescription Label and Prescription Overview, the company said.

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