Novartis, Incyte drug produces higher survival rates in patients with myelofibrosis
BASEL, Switzerland — A drug marketed by Novartis and Incyte Corp. extends the lives of patients with a life-threatening blood cancer to a greater extent than conventional therapy or placebo, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial.
Novartis announced the results of two phase-3 studies of Jakavi (ruxolitinib) in patients with myelofibrosis, presenting them at the American Society of Hematology’s annual meeting and exposition in New Orleans.
Myelofibrosis is an uncommon blood cancer that causes enlargement of the spleen, scarring of the bone marow and other symptoms. According to the studies, titled "COMFORT-I" and "COMFORT-II," Jakavi may increase the probability of 10-year survival of patients with the cancer by more than 50% compared with conventional therapy. The drug is approved in the United States for patients with intermediate- or high-risk myelofibrosis and is marketed by Incyte under the name Jakafi.
Walgreens collaborates with CDC on comprehensive HIV treatment model
DEERFIELD, Ill. — In support of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, Walgreens on Monday announced its collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and evaluate a model of HIV patient-centered care through a national project aimed at advancing clinical integration and medication therapy management. The program is another way Walgreens is extending its commitment to improve HIV prevention and treatment outcomes.
Walgreens is leveraging the expertise of its more than 700 HIV-specialized pharmacies and specially trained pharmacists to lead medication care plans and provide data evaluation and outcomes reporting for 1,000 HIV positive project participants. Walgreens pharmacists, who routinely provide pharmacy care and treatment for people living with HIV, will meet one-on-one with project participants to create care plans that focus on medication adherence and address other needs, including health education for added chronic conditions.
“Our approach to improving HIV prevention and treatment is individualized care focused on the holistic needs of patients,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior manager, virology, Walgreens. “Beyond dispensing medication, our pharmacists are trained to provide testing, confidential wellness consultations, coordinate care and benefits with physicians and insurance providers, and to help patients access financial support programs to reduce medication costs," he said. "However, medication adherence remains our primary objective because we know that taking the right medication at the right time is key to improving health outcomes.”
A Walgreens study of more than 15,000 HIV patients showed that those who received care through one of its HIV-specialized pharmacies, with expert-level trained pharmacists, were significantly more adherent to their medication (74%) than those receiving care through a traditional, non-specialized Walgreens pharmacy (69%). Adherent HIV patients are more likely to achieve improved health outcomes and suppressed viral loads, which make the virus less likely to be transmittable. However, the CDC estimates only 25% of Americans with HIV have the virus under control.
Walgreens collaboration with the CDC supports the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and underscores its commitment to support communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Its HIV-specialized pharmacies continue to cooperate with local health departments and AIDS service organizations to support HIV testing and community events, and work with local healthcare providers, government leaders and religious organizations to continually assess and meet the needs of individuals in select communities throughout the United States.
Nurses, pharmacists rank highest in Gallup poll measuring honesty and high ethical standards
WASHINGTON — Since 2005, more than 80% of Americans have rated nurses as having "high" or "very high" honesty and ethical standards, Gallup noted Monday with the release of its latest ethics poll. Pharmacists ranked No. 2 with 70% of Americans associating the profession with honesty and high ethics.
“We applaud pharmacists for once again achieving an impressive level of confidence and trust from the American public," said Douglas Hoey, CEO National Community Pharmacists Association. "The combination of their goodwill with consumers, extensive training, medication expertise and easy accessibility has pharmacists perfectly positioned to play a larger role in the U.S. healthcare system," Hoey said. "Emerging new care models such as accountable care organizations should fully integrate pharmacists. In addition, policymakers and plan sponsors should better utilize pharmacists’ public standing and knowledge to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, such as through the provision of medication adherence services and medication therapy management.”
In the past, pharmacists and grade school teachers have received high marks on honesty and ethics that are similar to this year’s scores.
This year’s poll was conducted Dec. 5-8. Gallup has asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of various professions periodically since 1976, and annually since 1990.