WAG study: Patient adherence with 90-day Rx at retail as good or better than mail order
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Medication adherence is as high or slightly better among patients filling 90-day prescriptions at retail versus mail order, according to a new Walgreens study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Managed Care that the chain highlighted Thursday.
According to the study, adherence levels for 90-day at retail were 77%, while at mail-order adherence levels were 76%.
"Patients who fill maintenance prescriptions at retail have a statistically significantly higher [medication possession ratio] than patients who fill their prescriptions via mail," wrote Nikhil Khandelwal, lead author of the study and Walgreens manager of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. MPR represents the percentage of time a patient has access to medication. "The retail setting may present advantages related to quality of care and patient convenience. However, additional studies are needed to better understand factors which may contribute to this result."
“We know that improving patient adherence is critical,” said Jeffrey Kang, Walgreens SVP pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions. “Given that community pharmacy also provides patients the potential benefit of face-to-face interaction with a pharmacist to help them manage their medications and overall wellness, these findings suggest that a 90-day at retail option in health plans potentially drives better patient outcomes and reduced costs for employers and payers.”
For the study, de-identified pharmacy claims data from a large pharmacy benefit manager were analyzed. Patients were selected if they were continuously eligible for at least 12 months between January 2008 and August 2010, with plan designs that allowed the option of filling 90-day supplies at either retail or mail order. Adherence was measured by medication possessions ratio for nine therapeutic groups (antiasthmatics and bronchodilators, antidepressants, antidiabetics, antihyperlipidemics, antihypertensives, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics and thyroid agents).
The full study is available online.
American Diabetes Association CEO to serve as National Health Council board chairman
WASHINGTON — Larry Hausner, the CEO of the American Diabetes Association, will serve as the 2012 chairman of the National Health Council’s board of directors, NHC said.
Hauser, who has served as ADA CEO since 2007, brings more than 20 years of extensive management experience in nonprofits, coupled with a strong understanding of mission-driven organizations, to his role, the organization said. In the coming year, NHC — which brings together segments of the health community to provide a united voice for the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers — will focus on the following issues:
Working with various federal agencies to define essential health benefits, required under the healthcare-reform law, in a way to balance effective coverage with appropriate cost;
Encouraging the development of new treatments and diagnostic tools for people with chronic conditions through passage of HR 3497, the MODDERN Cures Act;
Encouraging sustained funding for federal health programs and health research; and
Supporting comparative effectiveness research and the work of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
NHC consists of 100 national health-related organizations and businesses, including approximately 50 of the nation’s leading patient advocacy groups, which control its governance. Other members include professional and membership associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and major pharmaceutical, medical device, health insurance and biotechnology companies.
Amneal launches felbamate oral suspension
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Amneal Pharmaceuticals has launched its generic version of a drug designed to treat seizures in adults and children with epilepsy.
The generic drug maker said it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 16 for felbamate oral suspension in the 600-mg/5-mL strength. The Amneal generic is available in two sizes, 8 fl. oz./240 mL and 16 fl. oz./473 mL. It is a generic version of Meda Pharmaceuticals’ antiepileptic Felbatol.
“This approval further expands our liquids portfolio and complements our tablet form of felbamate, which launched in September,” Amneal president Chirag Patel said. “Additionally, by bringing another first-to-market generic to the public, we are reinforcing our commitment to provide pharmacy customers and the consumer with high-quality, affordable pharmaceuticals.”