Adherence Remains a Core Issue

Medications generally sit at the heart of a care plan for those with a chronic disease, yet medication adherence by patients continues to be an ongoing concern. Estimates note that 75% of Americans are not taking their medication exactly as directed by their health care professional. Meanwhile, nonadherence aligns with poorer outcomes, as well as…

Priced Out of the Post-Cancer Care Market

After successful breast cancer treatment, many women are prescribed hormone therapy to reduce the risk of a cancer recurrence. This long-term medication cost can be an adherence barrier for some women and this “cost problem” appears to affect more women than previously thought. New research – based on 8,700 women with a history of breast…

Breaking Down Restrictions

For many years, the standard plan for treating hepatitis C infections called for excluding active drug users. Experts at the 5th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users who recently met in Oslo, aim to revise what is considered standard care. New research was discussed at the symposium, specifically a series of studies by…

A Broader Perspective

Medication non-adherence gets a lot of attention – and for good reason since non-adherence contributes to unfavorable patient outcomes, unnecessary hospitalizations, and even patient mortality – yet non-adherence is not the only important medication issue deserving attention from the health care team. In fact, some experts now suggest that medication non-adherence is just the tip…

Sticking Points

There are several ‘sticking points’ that get in the way of patients sticking with their prescribed treatment. In fact, medication nonadherence remains a key area of wasted health care resources. A recent article in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy points out that there are two types of medication nonadherence: Primary Nonadherence: when…

Extra Care Brings Impressive Results

Guest Blog by: Bridget Economou, RN, OCN Reflecting back on my time attending the 41st ONS (Oncology Nursing Society) Congress in San Antonio, Texas, I was particularly struck by the data in a poster presentation from Kentucky regarding oral adherence. Their conclusions about how a care team can positively impact patient adherence served as great…

Pharmacist-Led, Patient-Centered Care

The “usual care” for most patients with a chronic disease is management of the condition by a health care provider. A new model of chronic disease management might make more sense, at least for some patients. When a clinical pharmacist heads up the care team, patients actually show improved outcomes and better access to health…

Managing Hepatitis C Treatment Costs

Manufacturer coupons for high-cost medications, such as those that treat hepatitis C, make a huge difference for patients. Today’s hepatitis C medications have the potential to cure the majority of infected people; however, they can come with a steep price tag for both patients and payers. In order to bring down excessively high cost shares…

Talk Pays Off

Medication adherence continues to be an important topic in the health care world. Despite a greater understanding of the pitfalls surrounding patient adherence, there is still a far distance to go before the problem of adherence can be considered solved. To better understand barriers to adherence, a group of researchers examined adherence in low-income diabetes…

Texting For Meds

Could better medication adherence be just a “text away”? According to a new analysis taking a closer look at several previous studies about adherence, when patients receive text reminders about their medication, adherence rates go up. Way up. Looking at medication adherence data from approximately 2,700 patients with chronic diseases, it was found that an…

Smoothing the Path

Medication adherence continues to be a challenge for the health care community. Successful treatment of disease simply cannot occur if patients are not adherent to medications. In addition, non-adherence leads to systemic waste. For example, up to 10% of all money spent on health care is attributed to avoidable health care costs linked to nonadherence….

Turning Patients into Partners

Education opens minds. For patients, education often means the difference between adherence and non-adherence, which in turn determines the effectiveness of treatment. More than ever before, the health care community understands that an active partnership between patients and their health care team can empower patients and lead to better outcomes. The value of patients tapped…

Rely on Pharmacists

Have you heard about the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)? This new law will go into effect in 2019, changing the way reimbursement works for many physician offices. In short: to receive reimbursement from Medicare, offices will have to either: Use an alternative payment model (such as the patient-centered medical home) Or…

Who Isn’t Taking Their Cancer Medication?

Just a few years ago, a physician knew immediately if a patient didn’t follow the prescribed cancer treatment, because the treatment was likely given intravenously at a health care facility. If the patient missed a scheduled appointment, then the physician could work to get the patient back in compliance. Today, oral cancer medications have increasingly…

Coping With ‘Financial Toxicity’

Multiple myeloma, a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, will be diagnosed in an estimated 27,000 Americans this year. Advances in research are expanding treatment options and improving outcomes in multiple myeloma patients, but these new medications often come with a higher price point. The expensive treatments for this disease have triggered alarming developments:…

When Price Stands in the Way

Medication non-adherence can be traced back to numerous causes. For some patients, the side effects of a given medication become too burdensome. Sometimes it is simple forgetfulness that keeps a patient from faithfully taking all prescribed treatment. And then there is the cost burden of treatment. Price barriers account for a significant slice of the…

World Hepatitis Day

One of the key messages of today July 28th, World Hepatitis Day, is simply this: hepatitis C is a preventable and treatable disease. The World Health Organization created World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness about the massive number of people already infected with one of several hepatitis viruses, including the hepatitis C, and how anyone…

Compliance in the Long Haul

Treating cancer is not always about a cure, sometimes it is more realistic to aim for controlling it long term as a chronic condition, which is a topic I explored earlier this year in Cancer Cure Vs. Control. It can be appropriate in some cases to control cancer with the goal of keeping it from…