PHARMACY

CDC: Only half of patients eligible for statin therapy actually taking a statin

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — More than a third of American adults are eligible to take cholesterol-lowering medications under the current guidelines or were already taking them – but nearly half of them are not, according to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers published in last week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Blacks and Mexican Americans are less likely than whites to be taking cholesterol-lowering medications, the report noted.
 
“Nearly 800,000 people die in the U.S. each year from cardiovascular diseases – that’s one in every three deaths – and high cholesterol continues to be a major risk factor,” stated Carla Mercado, a scientist in CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. “This study reveals opportunities to reduce existing disparities through targeted patient education and cholesterol management programs.”
 
CDC researchers examined data from the 2005-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Overall, 36.7% of U.S. adults – 78.1 million people age 21 or older – were eligible for cholesterol-lowering medication or already taking it. Within this group, 55.5% were currently taking cholesterol-lowering medication and 46.6% reported making lifestyle changes; 37.1% reported making lifestyle modifications and taking medication, and 35.5% reported doing neither.
 
Gender, race, and ethnicity made a difference. Of:
 
  • 40.8% of men eligible for or already on medication, 52.9% were taking medications;
  • 32.9% of women eligible for or already on medication, 58.6% were taking medications;
  • 24.2% of Mexican-Americans eligible for or already on medication, 47.1% were taking medications;
  • 39.5% of blacks eligible for or already on medication, 46% were taking medications; and
  • 38.4% of whites eligible for or already on medication, 58% were taking medications.
Blacks who did not have a routine place for health care had the lowest rate (5.7%) of taking recommended cholesterol-lowering medication. People who said they already had adopted a heart-healthy lifestyle (about 80%) were the group most likely to be taking cholesterol-lowering medication.
 
While the study included people taking all forms of cholesterol-lowering medication, nearly 90% of those receiving medication were taking a statin drug.
 
Data from 2007 through 2014 show a decline in the number of Americans with high blood levels of cholesterol. There also has been a recent increase in the use of cholesterol-lowering medications. But a high blood level of LDL cholesterol – also known as “bad” cholesterol – remains a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke in the United States.
 
Getting 65% of Americans to manage their high levels of LDL cholesterol by 2017 is one of the major targets of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes.
 
As many as 78.1 million Americans were already taking or are eligible for cholesterol-lowering medication. 
 
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend cholesterol-lowering medication for four groups of adults:
 
  • People with heart disease, a prior heart attack or some types of stroke, or angina;
  • People with LDL cholesterol levels of 190 mg/dL or more;
  • People ages 40 to 75 with diabetes and LDL cholesterol levels of 70-189 mg/dL; and
  • People ages 40-75 with LDL cholesterol levels of 70-189 mg/dL and an estimated 10-year risk of heart disease of 7.5% or more.
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
PHARMACY

McKesson IDs 5 2016 trends for hospital/health system pharmacies

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW ORLEANS — The McKesson Pharmacy Optimization team, a group of advisors that work with health systems to help elevate the value that pharmacy brings to the health system, has identified the top five trends that will impact hospital and health system pharmacies in 2016. 
 
“The growing movement toward value-based reimbursement continues to have tremendous impact on health systems as they increasingly look to pharmacy as a source of revenue growth," stated Mark Eastham, SVP and general manager McKesson Pharmacy Optimization. "This need for health system pharmacies to identify new initiatives that can increase revenue without compromising patient outcomes or safety is indicative of key trends and opportunities facing health system pharmacies in the coming year.” 
 
The five 2016 health system pharmacy trends include:
 
  1. Continued Growth in Specialty Market: The growth in specialty pharmaceuticals spend continues to outpace the growth in the overall pharmaceutical market and is the top spend category for health systems pharmacies. As more biosimilars reach the market, specialty pharmaceuticals will start to face increased competition, which will have a positive impact on pharmacies’ cost reduction efforts. However, health systems treating patients in the ambulatory setting and reimbursed through the average sales price model will see a corresponding drop in revenue. While the growth of limited networks and exclusive distribution channels for many specialty pharmaceuticals challenge health systems’ continuity of care initiatives, opportunities still exist for those that understand and can demonstrate the unique clinical and operational competencies and expertise required for specialty pharmacy;
     
  2. Health System Pharmacy Seen as a Revenue and Margin Generator: Managing costs will always be important; however, health systems’ leaders are increasingly looking at the pharmacy as more of a revenue and margin generator and less as a cost center. Whether still operating in a fee-for-service environment or shifting to a performance or value-based reimbursement model, the pharmacy can have significant impact on the overall P&L of a health system by focusing on incremental revenue opportunities such as ambulatory, specialty and mail-order pharmacy services. Not only does an integrated pharmacy care model impact the bottom line; the focus on optimal medication therapy management in the ambulatory care setting can help health systems improve continuity of care and medication adherence, and reduce readmissions;
     
  3. Industry Consolidation Increasing Need for Supply Chain Efficiency: In 2015, there has continued to be significant consolidation among hospitals and health systems, pharmaceutical manufacturers, retail pharmacy chains, and payers. Since nearly half of a hospital’s total operating expenses are for supplies, drugs and consumables, large health systems are looking for better integration and efficiency across the supply chain. An efficient pharmacy supply chain that is scaled properly can help streamline workflow, improve productivity and enable tighter inventory management. With an enterprise-wide analysis of total supply spend and patient utilization and outcomes, health system pharmacies can improve network access, analyze contract performance and improve payer performance;
     
  4. Increasing Oversight of 340B Program: The Health Resources and Services Administration proposed 340B Omnibus Guidance recently underwent public comment. Also known as the Mega-Guidance, it contains clarifications of existing 340B program elements such as patient definition, covered outpatient drugs and contract pharmacy. There are also several new areas covered including specialty pharmacy and limited distribution arrangements. While the final guidance has not yet been promulgated by HRSA, all health systems — even well-established, successful 340B health systems and pharmacies — should conduct a comprehensive evaluation of their current programs to identify if the guidance will create any gaps in their program and develop action plans to address the potential business impact of these changes; and
     
  5. Leveraging Pharmacy Analytics to Make Strategic Business Decisions: Big Data is still a buzzword across healthcare and other industries. Integrating comprehensive pharmacy analytics to track and monitor drug spend and use, patient care, and quality is a top priority for health systems. Organizations can use this information to make better financial, clinical and operational decisions and drive improved outcomes. Lack of connectivity or interoperability of health records between pharmacy and other providers can be a major patient safety issue and continues to plague the industry overall. However, initiatives such as the Commonwell Health Alliance are making progress to make healthcare data available and accessible to providers across care settings.
McKesson will be discussing these trends with health systems pharmacy leaders at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting 2015 here.
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
PHARMACY

McKesson to spotlight solutions at ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting 2015

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW ORLEANS – McKesson will showcase its comprehensive suite of technology solutions and clinical expertise designed to help hospital and health system pharmacy leaders improve their bottom line, without compromising quality and safety at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting 2015. 
 
“Changing reimbursement, along with increased focus on quality and patient satisfaction, continues to put pressure on health system pharmacies to be seen as a center of care rather than cost,” stated Mark Eastham, SVP and general manager, McKesson Pharmacy Optimization. “Our pharmacy consulting team — composed of former health system pharmacists and hospital administrators — can help identify opportunities and work with health system pharmacies hand-in-hand to achieve success in three critical areas: rigorous financial performance, employee collaboration for operational efficiency, and integration of critical technology systems.”
 
Attendees can get a first-hand look at a number of solutions designed to address top pharmacy challenges:
 
  • McKesson Health Systems: McKesson helps customers improve financial outcomes through its evidence-based programs, products and services including specialty and ambulatory pharmacy consulting, pharmacy revenue cycle analysis and support, and indigent drug recovery solutions. In addition, McKesson’s supply chain management solutions such as its competitive generics portfolio, Lean Six Sigma methodologies and training, timely drug shortage information, specialty inventory management technology, and single-source access to specialty products help customers increase efficiency and deliver measurable, time-saving results. McKesson provides actionable pharmacy insights through detailed drug spend analytics, 340B program management and improved billing accuracy;
  • McKesson Pharmacy Systems & Automation: MPS&A offers two new solutions to improve pharmacy outcomes – Adherence Performance Solution and Clinical Programs Solution. The Adherence Performance Solution online dashboard provides valuable data to help health system pharmacies understand and act on patient medication adherence behaviors. The dashboard identifies patients to target for an adherence program based on their current level of adherence and generates data to compare adherence performance to the rest of the market segment to prove the value of the pharmacy to preferred prescriber networks. The Clinical Programs Solution platform integrates with MPS&A’s pharmacy-management system so that health system pharmacies can easily add and manage multiple clinical programs for patients. Whether health system pharmacies use stand-alone vendor services or self-directed programs, the Clinical Programs Solution can save time and money by automatically synchronizing enrolled patient data between clinical programs and the hospital pharmacy’s system, identifying potential vendor programs for patients with specific medical conditions, and giving them easy-to-use tools to build their own customized clinical programs; and
  • Parata: McKesson’s automation partner, Parata, will be demonstrating its Parata Max and Parata Mini robotic dispensing technology to show how automation solutions can fill scripts safely; prevent controlled-substance diversion; manage an increasing script volume; and store, monitor and track drugs safely and securely. Parata automation allows health system pharmacists to free up labor for other value-added activities, such as medication reconciliation consulting, patient education, and post-discharge interventions to improve patient outcomes. Parata’s PASS 208 adherence strip packager will also be featured within the McKesson booth to show how health system pharmacists can make it easy for patients to take the right medication at the right time, every time. PASS adherence packaging organizes medications the way patients take them, by day and time of dose, and empowers pharmacists to take a more proactive role in patient outcomes, avoid readmission for discharged patients, support common “med to bed” health system programs, and provide services to other health system entities such as a hospice or care center.
 
 
 
 
keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?