Multipayer patient-centered medical homes may boost health outcomes for diabetes patients
NEW YORK — A new report published in the June issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found that diabetes patients can benefit from multipayer patient-centered medical homes.
More than 10,000 patients — assessed by Robert Gabbay, professor of medicine at Penn State College of Medicine and director of the Penn State Institute for Diabetes and Obesity in Hershey, Pa., and colleagues — were enrolled in a broad-scale chronic care model of PCMH, a setting that aims to provide "comprehensive primary care that is coordinated and integrated across all elements of the healthcare system by a physician-led team of individuals who have an ongoing relationship with the patient and, when appropriate, the patient’s family," Gabbay said.
The researchers found that in the first year of intervention, evidence-based care guideline adherence and clinical outcomes saw improvements. For example, patients that received yearly foot assessments for neuropathy — as part of the PCMH mulitpayer initiative — significantly increased from 50% to 69%. Similarly, patients receiving annual screenings for nephropathy and diabetic retinopathy, as well as administration of pneumonia and influenza vaccines, also improved.
Additional improvements were found among high-risk patients, including:
An 8.5% absolute increase in the percentage of patients with an LDL cholesterol level under 130;
A 4% absolute increase in the percentage of patients with blood pressure under 140/90; and
A 2.5% absolute decrease in the percentage of patients with HbA1C above 9.
The first-year outcomes were pooled from 25 participating practices and 143 participating providers in the Southeast region of Pennsylvania, which focused on diabetes patients.
Gabbay noted that despite the significant health improvements among the diabetes patients, "over time, it will be important to continue to monitor the intervention to fully assess the impact of these improvements in clinical care on costs," he wrote.
Teva settles patent dispute with Amgen
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Generic drug maker Teva recently admitted that one of its drugs infringes two of Amgen’s patents.
The U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania has barred Teva from selling its human G-CSF (human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) product Neutroval in the United States until Nov. 10, 2013. What’s more, the court’s injunction extends to Teva’s other human G-CSF product, Neugranin. Teva will not sell Neugranin until Nov. 10, 2013, unless it first obtains a final court decision that Amgen’s patents are not infringed by Neugranin.
The two patents at issue in the litigation, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,580,755 and 5,582,823, expire in early December 2013.
"We are very pleased with this outcome, as it reaffirms the validity of these important patents," Amgen SVP general counsel and secretary David Scott said. "This closes this matter and allows Amgen to continue to focus on bringing innovative therapies to patients with grievous illnesses."
Human G-CSF is a hormone designed to stimulate the bone marrow to produce granulocytes and stem cells.
Affordable Medicines Utilization Act of 2011 encourages use of generic drugs
WASHINGTON — New bipartisan legislation introduced to the Senate last week seeks to offer states incentives to use generic drugs by allowing states to temporarily keep a portion of the savings.
Senators Scott Brown, R-Mass.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; and John McCain, R-Ariz., introduced the Affordable Medicines Utilization Act of 2011, saying that the bill would encourage states to take advantage of cost-saving generic drugs.
“With our nation in a financial crisis and as federal and state healthcare expenditures continue to rise, we must ensure that our healthcare programs are efficiently managed,” McCain said. “A recent study found that the federal/state Medicaid program potentially overspends by more than $300 million per year on brand-name drugs when a cheaper generic drug equivalent is available. This bipartisan proposal incentivizes state Medicaid programs to substitute generics for more expensive brand-name drugs, introducing real competition for reimbursement dollars and saving taxpayers’ hard-earned money.”
The bipartisan legislation has received endorsement from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, stating in a letter that, “The Affordable Medicines Utilization Act of 2011 will provide incentives that will encourage state programs to efficiently use their healthcare dollars through increased use of more cost-efficient generic drugs while at the same time generating savings for not only the state but for the patient as well,” NACDS wrote.
NACDS did, however, caution against "evaluating spending on prescription drugs in a vacuum."