PHARMACY

CVS Caremark: Program yields high medication adherence for diabetics

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Wednesday that a review of data tracking its adherence program for diabetics found that it positively impacts medication adherence for both new and continuing patients.

The data found that 75.6% of patients continuing on a diabetes therapy who participated in the adherence program maintained optimal adherence to their prescribed therapy. This compares with 61.2% in the control group. The study also found that patients who were newly prescribed a diabetes medication and participated in the adherence program achieved a first fill persistency rate of 80%, a rate 8% higher than the control group.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 24 million people in the United States have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and an additional 57 million people are considered pre-diabetic.

“Our data illustrates that direct, focused interventions to help patients with a chronic disease such as diabetes stay on their medications work,” stated Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. “CVS Caremark’s comprehensive adherence program is designed to engage all enrolled plan participants in their care by providing disease and therapy education and outreach to help them improve medication adherence, resulting in improved outcomes and reduced overall costs.”

The findings are based on a review of 2,740 members with diabetes enrolled in the adherence program versus a control group (matched to the program group based on age, gender and disease severity) of 7,181 members with diabetes who were not enrolled in the program or any other known medication adherence program. Four clients new to the program between February 2007 and January 2008 were included in the analysis.

Under CVS Caremark?s adherence programs, all enrolled members, whether they utilize the mail pharmacy or fill their prescriptions at any of the 64,000 retail pharmacies within the CVS Caremark retail network, receive messages and interventions designed to help keep them adherent to medications for chronic conditions. These interventions include IVR and Web refill reminders, renewals and pick-up prompts, and letters about the importance of staying on a prescribed therapy sent to patients who have stopped filling a maintenance prescription and their health care provider.

Adherence to maintenance mediations not only helps keep patients healthy but it also reduces disease-related costs. Research has shown that for every $1 spent on medication for the treatment of diabetes, $7 is saved in disease-related costs.

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Teva files suit against Sandoz, Momenta over patent infringement

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has motioned to amend a complaint against two generic drug makers over their alleged infringement of Teva’s patent on a multiple sclerosis drug.

The Israeli drug maker announced Tuesday that it had sought to amend a complaint filed against Sandoz and Momenta Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over their attempts to make a generic version of the injected drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). The amended complaint has been filed with the court under seal.

Teva, which makes branded drugs in addition to being the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs, originally filed the suit in August 2008, alleging infringement of multiple patents covering the drug.

Teva said that Copaxone is a “highly complicated” drug to develop, and given its inability to fully characterize its active ingredients, it has “serious doubts” about another drug company’s ability to make a comparable generic version.

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Boston Scientific sponsors World Diabetes Day 2009

BY Allison Cerra

NATICK, Mass. A worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices announced its official sponsorship of World Diabetes Day for the second consecutive year. The program is organized by the International Diabetes Federation, and represents its primary global awareness campaign in the fight against diabetes.

The IDF is a worldwide alliance of more than 200 diabetes associations in 160 countries that share a mission of enhancing the lives of people with diabetes. It promotes appropriate diabetes care, prevention and the pursuit of a cure through such activities as World Diabetes Day, which will be observed Nov. 14.

“As a global leader in the medical device industry and a company committed to improving lives, we have a responsibility to support critical health initiatives like World Diabetes Day,” said David McFaul, Boston Scientific SVP international. “Many of our employees see first hand the devastating impact diabetes can have on patients and their families. We’re proud to continue our support of this important campaign with numerous activities planned at Boston Scientific sites around the globe intended to promote diabetes awareness and education.”

As part of its support, Boston Scientific once again will participate in the IDF World Diabetes Day Monument Challenge by temporarily illuminating its corporate headquarters in Natick, Mass., and changing the color of its Internet homepage to blue in recognition of World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14. Additionally, Boston Scientific further will support World Diabetes Day with activities at company facilities around the world, including free diabetes screenings for employees and “lunch and learn” sessions.

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