PHARMACY

Medication education can improve adherence among diabetes patients

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO — Medication education can help patients with diabetes stay compliant with their medication regimens, according to a new study published in the February issue of the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

The goal of the study, conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy, was to figure out which methods patients and caregivers used to improve medication adherence and find motivating factors or characteristics of medications that might help patients stick to their regimens. The researchers found that taking medications as part of a daily routine and using pill boxes were the most frequently reported ways to improve adherence, while knowledge of medicines’ effectiveness, management of side effects and better understanding of drugs’ benefits were the three most motivating factors.

“Counseling can be more effective if pharmacists recognize that individual patients are each motivated to adhere to their drug regimens in different ways,” UCSD pharmacy professor and study author Candis Morello said. “By understanding these differences and knowing what actually works for individual patients, pharmacists can provide a very important service.”

The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 adults, most of whom had Type 2 diabetes and of whom nearly half took only oral medications. Nearly 87% of patients reported taking medications twice or more per day.

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Teva’s Qnaze meets endpoints in phase-3 trial

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — An investigational drug made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for treating allergies is safe and effective, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Wednesday.

Teva said the phase-3 trial of the nasally inhaled drug Qnaze (beclomethasone dipropionate) showed that it significantly relieved symptoms of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis compared with placebo while demonstrating a similar safety profile.

Teva reported results from a phase-3 trial of the drug in patients with seasonal allergies at the American Coolege of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s annual meeting last year.

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Report: Sandoz has as many as 10 follow-on biologics in works

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Sandoz is developing as many as 10 new follow-on biologics, according to published reports.

Reuters, citing an interview with Sandoz head Jeff George in the German newspaper Handelsblatt, said the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis had eight to 10 new biosimilar molecules in development.

Follow-on biologics, also known as biosimilars and sometimes as biogenerics, are copycat versions of biotech drugs. Unlike generic pharmaceutical drugs, which are identical to their branded counterparts, the specially grown cell lines and complex molecular structure of biologics makes it much more difficult to develop follow-on versions, and follow-on biologics may not be identical to the originals, even if they have the work the same way.

Sandoz is one of the leading developers of follow-on biologics for the European market, along with Israeli drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s largest generic drug company, and U.S.-based Hospira.

The healthcare-reform law, signed into law by President Barack Obama last year, created a regulatory approval pathway for follow-on biologics in the United States, though Republicans in Congress and several state attorneys general have sought to overturn the law in the legislature and the court system.

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