Half of adolescents are misusing their prescription meds
- All patients are at risk of prescription misuse. A high rate of prescription medication misuse (53%) was observed across all age groups and in both genders, as well as across patients enrolled in different types of health plans (Medicaid, Medicare and private payer);
- The type of drugs misused varies by age. In adults 30 years of age and older, the two drug groups most likely to be misused, based on test results, were oxycodone and opiates. In children less than 10 years of age, amphetamines and opiates were most likely to be implicated in misuse. In patients 10-29 years of age, the leading drug groups associated with evidence of misuse were marijuana and opiates;
- Some states and regions are curbing prescription drug misuse better than others. California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee all showed marked improvement in their inconsistency rates from 2011-2014. On a regional basis, the Mountain States and Great Plains states (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming) had the highest inconsistency rate, at 61%, while New York and New Jersey together had the lowest inconsistency rate, at 41%; and
- Patterns of drug misuse shift over the past four years. The percentage of patients who did not take their medications consistently, suggesting they are skipping doses, increased from 40% in 2011 to 44% in 2014. Additionally, 35% of patients tested in 2014 showed evidence of combining drugs without a clinician's oversight, compared to 32% in 2011, indicating heightened potential for dangerous drug combinations.
Teva, IBM team to further develop Watson Health Cloud
JERUSALEM and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Teva and IBM Watson Health announced Thursday that the pharmaceutical company had been chosen as IBM’s first Foundational Life Sciences partner for the Watson Health Cloud.
Teva will use the Watson Health Cloud — an open-source platform for physiciancs, insurers and other health and wellness professionals — as a preferred global tech platform and will use it as a way of designing solutions for patients with chronic conditions. The two companies will also create joint research team that will use big data and machine learning technology to develop therapeutic solutions and disease models.
“Teva is actively exploring the e-health evolution with a strong focus on fulfilling unmet and emerging patients' needs,” Teva Pharmaceuticals’ SVP and CIO Guy Hadari said. “The IBM Watson Health Cloud provides a strong foundation on which we can realize this vision.”
Watson is a computing platform that can interact in natural language, process huge amounts of data and learn from each interaction by uncovering insights and patterns. Teva will work to expand Watson Health Cloud’s capabilities and develop solutions to issues like drug musuce and adherence by drawing nsights from existing data.
“By building on the Watson Health Cloud, we believe Teva will be in a unique position to put the best information and insights in the hands of physicians, care teams and patients, to empower treatment optimization for individuals and populations across the spectrum of acute and chronic conditions,” Hadari said. “Watson holds promise to provide Teva with better insights, real-time feedback and options for clinicians to consider to improve patient care.”
PhRMA: Over 800 cancer treatments in pipeline
WASHINGTON — According to a new report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, biopharmaceutical companies are in high gear developing cancer treatments. The report highlights data from the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual progress report, which shows that there are currently 836 medicines and vaccines for various cancers in the pipeline.
These treatments include 123 for lung cancer, which the report says is expected to kill 158,000 people this year; 106 for different types of leukemia; 92 for lymphoma; 82 for breast cancer, of which there will be 231,840 new cases this year, according to the report; 58 for brain tumors; and 53 for skin cancer and melanoma.
“The oncology research community has made significant advances in identifying new, more effective therapies to help people with cancer achieve positive treatment outcomes and transition from being cancer patients to cancer survivors,” PhRMA president and CEO John J. Castellani said. “However, the battle is far from over. This new report underscores the sustained commitment of biopharmaceutical companies to address the unmet medical needs of patients fighting these terrible diseases.”
According to PhRMA’s report, since the early 1990s, the death rate among patients with cancer has declined 22%, with 83% of survival gains attributable to new treatments. Also a focus in the report is the growth of personalized medicine among cancer patients, and of the medicine being developed, 73% has the potential to be used as a personalized medicine.
“Oncology is on fire with [personalized medicine[, with treatment selections based on individual molecular characteristics,” Janet Woodcock, director of Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said. “This is also happening with chronic infectious, and genetic diseases are not far behind.”
To see more data from the report, see the infographic below.