PHARMACY

Sebelius releases report on success of community-based prevention program

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius released on Wednesday a report documenting the success of the Nebraska Wisewoman program to help prevent heart disease and stroke among low-income women.

The program not only could serve as a model for a reformed American healthcare system but is also a nod to the role that retail-based clinics and nurse practitioners can play in the community as this program could be implemented in a convenient care setting.

“Wisewoman is a great example of a community-based prevention program that can help keep Americans healthy and out of the hospital,” stated Sebelius. “In Nebraska alone, Wisewoman helped 19,000 women live healthier lives and significantly reduced their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.”

Wisewoman is a community intervention program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that helps prevent heart disease and stroke by providing screenings and counseling for low-income women. The program started in 2000 and there are now 21 similar programs across the country. As a whole, the program has reduced the risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases in more than 84,000 women.

In Nebraska, Wisewoman partners with health care providers across the state to provide low-income, under- or uninsured women with the information they need to help prevent heart attack and stroke. The program provides risk factor screenings to low-income women at clinics throughout Nebraska and refers women at-risk of heart attack or stroke to experts for additional counseling and care.

Nebraska Wisewoman has screened more than 19,000 underserved women since its inception and has significantly reduced the incidence of chronic disease and death. There has been a 5.4% reduction in 10-year estimated chronic heart disease risk and a 7.5% reduction in five-year estimated cardiovascular disease risk. Smoking incidence has also declined 7.1% since the start of the program.

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Experts discuss medication adherence

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Poor adherence to medication regimens could counteract the benefits of healthcare reform, a panel of experts concluded Wednesday.

The panel — which brings together experts from GlaxoSmithKline, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, the National Consumer’s League and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — hopes to open a dialogue about medication adherence with between experts from the health, medical, insurance, business, employer, academic and government sectors.

“To date, medication adherence hasn’t been a prominent part of the debate,” conference moderator and founding editor of the journal Health Affairs John Iglehart said in a statement. “But no matter what shape health reform takes, it will ultimately be more successful if it supports the education and motivation of patients to properly follow their medication regimens.”

Participants in the panel will receive briefings on two new research efforts on medication adherence conducted by Avalere Health and the RAND Corp., respectively, using findings from the studies to guide the creation of policy and public education recommendations.

As many as 80% of patients may not be adhering to their medication regimens, according to research, resulting in adverse consequences and draining $100 billion to $300 billion from the healthcare system every year.

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MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals develops copay program for Moxatag

BY Alaric DeArment

WESTLAKE, Texas A company making a long-acting formulation of a common antibiotic has announced a program to minimize the drug’s cost to consumers.

MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday a $20 maximum copay program for Moxatag (amoxicillin) extended-release tablets in the 775 mg strength, designed to keep the drug’s cost to patients at $20 or less. The company said it will field 300 representatives and district managers to begin supplying physicians with voucher cards for the program.

“In this tough economy, we recognize the need to improve Moxatag’s affordability to the patient,” MiddleBrook president and CEO John Thievon said in a statement. “This $20 maximum copay program will replace our current $15 point-of-sale copay check program, which has been in place since Moxatag’s launch.”

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