According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine,1 an estimated one-third to one-half of all patients in the U.S. reportedly do not take their medications as prescribed.
Twenty to thirty percent of new prescriptions are never filled at the pharmacy, and the majority of patients prescribed medications for chronic diseases have, after six months, taken less medication than prescribed or stopped the medication altogether.
The following resources are designed to help patients stay on course with their treatments and have better conversations with their health care providers about the medicines they have been prescribed.
Our company’s consumer engagement program, a free health-support program available in English and Spanish, offers resources that help consumers achieve their health goals by reinforcing healthy lifestyle choices, providing disease-specific education, supporting adherence to therapy and facilitating more productive interactions with health care professionals. The program also includes support and encouragement for caregivers, who are often engaged in the day-to-day care and treatment decisions of family members and friends.
Elements of the consumer engagement program include:
- My Diary (a weight, medicine and blood sugar tracker)
- My Activity Tracker (tracks sleep and activity by syncing with certain wearable devices)
- Caregiver Notebook
- Disease-specific articles and support information
- BMI calculator and “getting started” fitness ideas
- Low-sodium, low-fat, low-sugar, low-calorie cookbooks are available to download
- Connections on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
- Program app available on iTunes
THE ADHERENCE ESTIMATOR®
Patients often fail to reach clinical goals because they do not take medications as directed. We remain committed to the issue of medication adherence and to helping patients and customers with adherence-related programming and solutions that are scientifically based.
The foundation of our adherence program is the Adherence Estimator. The Adherence Estimator is a validated, patient-based resource that gauges the likelihood of a patient adhering to a newly prescribed oral medication for certain chronic conditions. The Adherence Estimator asks questions about three key areas that affect adherence: (1) patients’ perceived concerns about prescription medication, (2) patients’ perception of the need for or their commitment to a prescription medication, and (3) patients’ perceived financial burden from the cost of a prescription medication.
After respondents answer the questions, the resource provides information to enable the patient and health care provider an opportunity to discuss any concerns that the patient may have. In addition to our outcomes research studies, we continue to explore behavioral and motivational factors that contribute to non-adherence. With this new information, we will build tools and resources that will allow for a deeper conversation between patients and their health care professionals on behavior change to improve medication adherence.
SPARTA is a proven adherence platform that supports patients on any of our company’s therapies to improve adherence to these medications while also providing access to various tools and resources to assist in the management of conditions.
SPARTA was created in Australia in 2009, in partnership with physicians and pharmacists who voiced the need for more robust patient support. In addressing this unmet need, modules were created to support enrolled patients in managing their chronic conditions. The modules consisted of various patient touch points (e.g., telephone support, disease education and text/email reminders) to help patients understand their condition better, realize the importance of diet and exercise in managing their condition and, ultimately, improve medication adherence. SPARTA grew from 60,000 patients in Asia-Pacific in 2013 to more than 200,000 patients across the globe in 2017.
Throughout 2017, the program has expanded into the new therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology and hepatitis.
Based on a recent analysis of 40,000 patients across seven countries, 85 percent of patients taking part in the SPARTA program took their medications for more than 10 months and took them correctly 95 percent of the time.
SPARTA has been launched in Australia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Oman, Hong Kong, Mexico, UAE, Chile, Sweden and Ireland.
MSD SPARSH Healthline is a telephone-based diabetes-management support program available in India for patients treated for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (“T2DM”) with JANUVIA® (sitagliptin)/JANUMET® (sitagliptin and metformin HCl)/Janumet XR CP® (sitagliptin and metformin HCI extended-release).
SPARSH aims to improve therapy adherence among T2DM patients and improve their diabetes control by helping them adopt therapeutic lifestyle changes. The key elements of SPARSH include customized counseling on disease and lifestyle management along with text and adherence support.
In 2016, approximately 22,500 patients enrolled in SPARSH.
Since 2009, SPARSH has enrolled more than 105,000 patients. In 2016, approximately 22,500 patients enrolled in SPARSH. A recent analysis of approximately 5,300 patients who had completed more than six months in the program showed that the majority of patients made positive changes in diet, exercise and blood sugar monitoring.
With the disease management space changing rapidly in the last couple of years, we are working toward enhancing the current program offerings to broaden the program’s reach and help improve patient experience and disease outcomes.