HEALTH

Medco: Poor adherence may cause lack of response to medication

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON When a patient isn’t showing a response to a medication, a common tactic the doctor might use is to increase the dosage. According to a new study, however, the ineffectiveness might be happening because the patient isn’t properly taking the medication.

The Medco Research Institute, the research arm of pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions, found that nearly one-third of patients given increased dosages of antidepressants were not regularly taking their original prescriptions. Data from the study recently were presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s 62nd Institute on Psychiatric Services in Boston.

 

Medco said the study showed doctors should monitor a patient’s adherence to their antidepressants before raising the dosage because poor adherence may contribute to disease relapse, thus leading to unnecessary dosage increases.

 

 

“A physician usually increases a dose when a patient is not responding to the current dosage,” Medco Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center national practice leader and lead study author David Muzina said. “But the analysis shows that the reason the dose may not be effective is that many patients are not taking their antidepressants as directed.”

 

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BI, Latino Commission on AIDS launch website

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. Drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim and the Latino Commission on AIDS have launched a website targeted at Latinos living with HIV, the two announced Thursday.

 

The website, MenteCuerpoHAART.com, is a Spanish-language version of an already existing English-language version, MindBodyHAART.com. The site is designed to help patients, their families and doctors understand issues affecting health care and treatment of HIV and find resources on prescribed medications and clinical trials, and communicate with medical providers.

 

 

“We face many health challenges in our communities,” Latino Commission on AIDS president Guillermo Chacon said. “It is important that we respond to the crisis of HIV/AIDS, perpetuated by the stigma, poverty, immigration status, fear, access to health care and barriers related to language.”

 

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Identigene introduces STD test kit

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY Identigene on Thursday officially unveiled its Identigene STD test kit, which currently is available over the counter at Rite Aid.

Purchasers of the Identigene STD test kit can receive a highly accurate test result for chlamydia and gonorrhea, two of the more popular sexually transmitted diseases, within two to three business days of receipt of a urine specimen by the Identigene laboratory.

“As costs and wait times for health care continue to rise, people are increasingly looking to home diagnostics,” stated Steve Smith, executive director of Identigene. “The Identigene STD test kit is a confidential, convenient and cost-effective way for people to protect their privacy and help ensure their own sexual health, as well as that of their partners.”

Often, infected people don’t know they have contracted an STD that can harm them and others. “Symptoms may not be noticeable until the disease progresses and potentially causes more serious health concerns,” said Identigene’s medical director, Michael Rhode. “Early and regular STD testing can greatly reduce these risks and enable earlier, more effective treatment.”

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends yearly testing for people who are sexually active, especially for pregnant women. Individuals who test positive using the Identigene STD test kit should consult with their doctor or may ask an Identigene consultant to help them find local medical treatment.

 

 

The CDC estimated that more than 1 million Americans ages 14 years to 39 years are infected with an STD each year. Untreated complications from chlamydia and gonorrhea can be severe and may include infertility or sterility. Women may get pelvic inflammatory disease and are five times more likely to contract HIV/AIDS if infected by chlamydia.

 

 

The Identigene STD kit retails for a suggested price of $19.99; the laboratory processing fee is $99.

 

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