PHARMACY

Pleio’s medication adherence program yields positive results

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A company that runs a medication adherence program said its program had a “highly significant” effect.

Pleio Health Support Systems announced Monday results of the Pleio GoodStart program, analyzing data from 1,776 patients taking a chronic cardiovascular medication between May 2008 and 2009 that showed patients refilled an average of two additional 30-day prescriptions during their initial nine-month period of taking the medication.

Patients in the GoodStart program also refilled their prescriptions an average of 10 days sooner than those in the control group, Pleio said.

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HHS parcels out $17 million for HAIs

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Department of Health and Human Services has doled out $17 million to projects set up to fight infections acquired in hospitals, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

Healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs, affect nearly 2 million patients every year, contributing to 99,000 deaths and costing the healthcare system up to $33 billion. The most common culprit in HAIs is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA.

“When patients go to the hospital, they expect to get better, not worse,” Sebelius said in a statement. “Eliminating infections is critical to making care safer for patients and to improving the overall quality and safety of the healthcare system.”

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Victoza yields substantial weight loss in diabetic patients, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

COPENHAGEN A drug developed for Type 2 diabetes provides greater weight loss than a popular weight-loss drug already on the market, according to a study published online in The Lancet.

Led by nutrition professor Arne Astrup, researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark analyzed 564 patients at 19 sites in Europe who received Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide) in a 1.2-mg, 1.8-mg, 2.4-mg or 3-mg dose; GlaxoSmithKline’s weight-loss drug Alli (orlistat) in a 120-mg dose; or placebo three times a day.

Patients taking Victoza lost between 4.8-kg and 7.2-kg, compared with 4.1-kg among those taking Alli and 2.8-kg among those taking placebo.

“Treatment with liraglutide, in addition to an energy-deficit diet and exercise program, led to a sustained, clinically relevant, dose-dependent weight loss that was significantly greater than that with placebo and orlistat,” the authors wrote. 

Victoza has been approved in Europe, though the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve it for the United States.

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