Jul. 5, 2011 (PR Newswire) --
FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Accredo Health Group Inc., the specialty pharmacy of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS), has developed a unique ability to manage the costs of treating hepatitis C (HCV), while keeping patients adherent to a complex medication regimen for a sometimes lethal disease that can lead to liver cirrhosis and certain cancers. The introduction of two new HCV medications that hold tremendous promise but also add even a greater degree of complexity to treatment will require this "high touch" approach to help increase patient adherence.
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Patients must be at least 80-85 percent adherent to therapy for the HCV treatment to be effective, and Accredo has results demonstrating that patients who receive therapy from Accredo's nurses and specialist pharmacists are nearly 10 percent more adherent than those who get their therapy from another provider. Accredo has also been successful in using genotype information to identify patients who may need only 24 weeks of therapy, resulting in drug cost savings up to $13,000.
Accredo's high-touch care model helps educate patients about their treatment and the necessity to adhere to it. This includes patient instruction about using their medications, communicating with doctors about treatment programs and assisting patients to manage side effects. This, in turn, helps to improve patient outcomes and reduce costly hospitalizations or the wastage of expensive medications that are not being properly taken.
As Accredo has improved care for HCV patients, boceprevir and teleprevir will likely improve patients' odds for beating the condition that affects 3.2 million Americans, sparing thousands of patients from liver failure, potential transplants or cancer.