Mercer introduces Dx-Rx Pairing service
NEW YORK Mercer has unveiled its new product, Dx-Rx Pairing, which was developed to encourage patients to use the most appropriate medication for specific conditions and it performs this by reducing drug co-payments for certain diagnosis/drug pairings and increasing educational outreach to participants and providers. The plan only targets these combinations of diagnoses and drug therapies that have been proven medically to improve health while lowering health costs.
The company has found through clinical evidence that, by linking a specific diagnosis with a specific regimen of prescribed drugs, this results in a health status improvement that avoids or reduced other medical costs.
“Today’s pharmacy benefit plans typically are designed to reduce drug cost only. They provide little to no monitoring of compliance and miss significant opportunities to improve health,” said David Dross, national leader of Mercer’s managed pharmacy consulting group. “Dx-Rx Pairing promotes the use of evidence-based drug therapies that improve enrollee health and reduce total health care spending. This approach can reduce an employer’s total health care spending by an estimated 1-2 percentage points.”
Harvard program seeks to discourage doctors from prescribing pediatric antibiotics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A program was conducted at the Harvard Medical School in an effort to change doctors’ prescribing habits for antibiotics and to educate parents of small children about the proper use of antibiotics, according to Reuters.
The program was initiated because of the emergence of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics because doctors prescribed the medications when they weren’t really needed.
Harvard Medical School’s Jonathan Finkelstein and colleagues conducted the program in 16 Massachusetts communities between 1988 and 2003. Finkelstein’s team measured changes in antibiotic prescribing rates among three groups of children: 3 to 24 months, 24 to 48 months, and 48 to 72 months.
By the end of the study, the intervention had not changed the rate of antibiotic use in the youngest group, but for children between 24 and 48 months, the rates decreased by 4.2 percent and for the oldest children, the rates decreased by 6.7 percent.
Patent office rejects Gilead patents for Viread
WASHINGTON The Patent and Trademark Office has tentatively rejected four patents for Gilead Sciences’ HIV drug Viread, according to published reports.
The Public Patent Foundation filed a petition in March seeking to revoke the patents for the drug because they felt the drug should never have been patented in the first place, as the technology used to make the drug had been previously disclosed publicly.
The PTO is now re-examining the patents. Industry experts have said that it is common for the federal agency to tentatively rule patents invalid after having been asked by a third party to re-examine them. What would be unlikely would be the patents being permanently revoked, which has only occurred about 10 percent of the time.
Gilead sells Viread under that name and in combination with other drugs as Truvada and Atripla. Taken together, the three HIV treatments generated $3.1 billion in sales last year, according to the company.