Trend of the Month
Billions of Dollars Are Wasted From Poor Medication-Taking Behaviors
Common behaviors of patients taking prescription drugs, such as forgetfulness and procrastination, may result in wasteful spending of $163 billion annually, according to the recently released 2009 Drug Trend Report from Express Scripts. This expense is related to 3 key factors: $106 billion from medical costs of nonadherence to therapy; $51 billion in missed opportunities related to lower-cost medication alternatives, both brand-name and generic; and $6 billion in missed opportunities related to lower-cost options for delivery of medications.
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Approved Treatments for Osteoporosis and What’s in the Pipeline
Stacy Davis, MBBS, Alok Sachdeva, MD, Bruce Goeckeritz, MD, and Alyce Oliver, PhD, MD
, June 7, 2010
Along with the release of revised guidelines, several pharmacological therapies have become available or are under investigation to help improve outcomes in patients with osteoporosis.
Pharmacists’ Perceptions of Drug Reimbursement Rates and Processing Times Among Managed Care Plans
Ravi K. Goyal, BPharm, Jeetvan G. Patel, BPharm, and Sujit S. Sansgiry, PhD
, June 7, 2010
The effect of payment delays on the normal functioning of community pharmacy operations has been documented. We undertook a study to evaluate and compare pharmacists’ perception regarding reimbursement rates and processing time for prescription drug claims processed for Medicare Part D, Medicaid, and commercial managed care plans.
The Benefits and Challenges of Health Care Reform
by Merrill Matthews, PhD
, April 16, 2010
The pharmaceutical industry aggressively supported efforts to pass health care reform, even pledging to trim drug costs by $80 billion.1 In addition, it pumped millions of dollars into lobbying and ad campaigns to push the legislation to a successful conclusion, even joining with groups such as Families USA, which ironically spent years attacking drug makers in the early part of the decade.2
Evidence-Based Perspective on Metabolic Syndrome and Use of Antipsychotics
Meera Narasimhan, MD and Jeffrey D. Raynor, MD
, April 16, 2010
Schizophrenia, a devastating mental illness that affects nearly 2.2 million Americans, is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality.1 Persons with schizophrenia have a 20% shorter life expectancy than the general population.1,2 Furthermore, among persons with schizophrenia, there is an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome characterized by a constellation of risk factors, including insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and hypertension,3
Reducing Cost-Related Medication Nonadherence in Patients With Diabetes
Miriam Chan, PharmD, CDE
, April 15, 2010
In the United States, it has been estimated that 7.8% of the total population has diabetes. In 2007, the direct medical expenditures for diabetes were about $116 billion and the total direct and indirect costs were $174 billion, according to the CDC.
The Significance of Progression-Free Survival as a Clinical End Point in Oncology
Randy C. Axelrod, MD
, March 25, 2010
In the metastatic setting, given the limited potential for a cure, treatment is focused on extending patient life, providing symptom relief, and improving quality of life. Overall survival (OS) is considered the most reliable clinical measure used in cancer trials in the metastatic setting and is frequently used as the primary end point for the evaluation of new therapies.
Update on the Therapy for Sporotrichosis
Brian K. Hogan, MD, MPH&TM and Duane R. Hospenthal, MD, PhD
, March 10, 2010
Sporotrichosis is a fungal infection that typically results in cutaneous or lymphocutaneous disease, although other, more severe, life-threatening manifestations do occur. This article reviews updated treatment guidelines, which state that itraconazole has become the preferred therapy for most forms of infection. Amphotericin B remains the mainstay of treatment for severe cases, but lipid formulations are now preferred because of their more favorable toxicity profile. Also, fluconazole has been shown to be less effective than itraconazole and is no longer recommended except as an alternative for cutaneous and lymphocutaneous disease. [Drug Benefit Trends. 2010;22:49-52]
A Comparison of the Clinical Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Treatments for Moderate to Severe Psoriasis
Cheryl S. Hankin, PhD, Neal D. Bhatia, MD, Gary Goldenberg, MD, Amy Bronstone, PhD, Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, Doug Burgoyne, PharmD, John Knispel, MD, Jeremy M. Gleeson, MD, and Maria Lopes, MD
, February 17, 2010
This study investigated the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of treatments for moderate to severe psoriasis from a managed health care systems perspective. An analysis was conducted of randomized clinical trials evaluating biologic and oral systemic medications and phototherapy for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.
2009 H1N1 Influenza: Antiviral Use for Prevention and Treatment
William M. Valenti, MD
, February 17, 2010
This discussion reviews the currently available antivirals and recommendations for their use in influenza prophylaxis and treatment. Because our understanding of 2009 H1N1 influenza is still evolving, some off-label use of medications is discussed and noted. Information on 2009 H1N1 is updated frequently, andreaders are encouraged to monitor advisories from federal, state, and local health agencies for up-to-date information. (Drug Benefit Trends. 2010;22:10-14)
Medication Nonadherence and the Risks of Hospitalization, Emergency Department Visits, and Death Among Medicare Part D Enrollees With Diabetes
Yi Yang, MD, PhD, Vennela Thumula, Patrick F. Pace, PhD, Benjamin F. Banahan III, PhD, Noel E. Wilkin, RPh, PhD, and William B. Lobb, RPh, PhD
, December 23, 2009
Diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder that often requires multiple drugs to manage its symptoms and comorbid conditions, such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Diabetes is also a chronic disorder that requires patients to follow the treatment for as long as the disorder persists, which is often for the rest of their lives. Therefore, adherence to prescribed medications is crucial to therapeutic success.