Study suggests increased compliance from lowered co-pays
HARTFORD, Conn. Aetna conducted a survey recently and found that out of 1,000 people surveyed who had one of five chronic conditions—hypertension, asthma, diabetes, heart disease or hyperlipidimia—86 percent said they would always adhere to their prescription medication if they were in a program that reduced or eliminated co-payments for filling prescriptions, seeing doctors or getting recommended tests.
Other findings from the survey showed that appeal for these types of plans was highest for those suffering from diabetes and asthma.
“There are a number of reasons why members may not adhere to their prescriptions,” said Ed Pezalla, national medical director for Aetna pharmacy management. “Members may be concerned about potential side effects or high out-of-pocket costs, or they may not understand why they are taking the medication. However, enrolling members in a program that educates them on the importance of continuing therapy and reduces their out-of-pocket costs can help them adhere to their medications.”
Hormone deemed effective in male birth-control pill
TORRANCE, Calif. According to published reports, one of the two government-funded research centers in the U.S. for male contraceptives has discovered hormone pills that block sperm production in men and has found them to be safe and reversible.
The hormone combination that proved most successful halts testosterone production in the testicles, but fakes the body into believing that testosterone levels are the same, according to the study. The progestin, typically a female hormone, speeds the process and improves the effectiveness of the drug, research shows. The hormones can be taken in a pill or injection form.
As with female birth control, the male contraceptives don’t prevent sexually transmitted disease. But they have proven as effective as female pills in preventing pregnancy, according to the study.
The next goal is to find pharmaceutical companies that want to conduct final development of the drug, but so far companies have been unwillingly to take part because of the regulatory requirement involved in manufacturing a contraceptive.
Federal appeals court lets Washington state Plan B ruling stand
LOS ANGELES A federal appeals court on Thursday left in place a lower court’s ruling that allowed Washington state pharmacists to refuse to sell Duramed’s emergency contraceptive pill Plan B on religious grounds, according to Reuters.
A federal judge in Seattle suspended state rules that required pharmacies to dispense the drug and other emergency contraceptives that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting, which some people believe is the same as abortion.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton found that the state rules force pharmacists into an unconstitutional choice between their religious beliefs and their work.
State officials and several women had asked the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend the judge’s preliminary injunction, which bars them from enforcing the law, while they appeal his ruling.
In a split decision, the appeals court denied that request, finding that the state and the women did not show that they would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction stayed in place pending the appeal.