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Merck & Co partners with Geisinger to improve adherence

Will use web application to decrease risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Merck & Co is to team up with Geisinger Health System to improve patient adherence to diabetes and cardiovascular treatment plans using web applications and management solutions.

The US pharma company said the multi-year collaboration would improve patient health outcomes by facilitating shared decision making between patients and doctors.

It will do this by using a number of tools, including an interactive web application that's designed to help primary care clinicians assess and engage patients at risk for cardiometabolic syndrome - a group of several risk factors that increases the risk of someone developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The application will initially be tested within Geisinger's own healthcare system, which serves more than 2.6m residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania in the US, and uses electronic health records to keep track of patients' progress.

“When you have two leading healthcare companies that share a commitment to improve health outcomes and are focused on fundamental problems that have plagued the healthcare system for years, the results have the potential to be transformative," said Mark Timney, Merck's president of global human health, US.

Further care management programmes are in development, with the analytics of each scheme important to determine any expansion of the collaboration.

“We will closely monitor patient acceptance, treatment adherence, and other metrics to determine which tools and solutions have the ability to improve patient care and are ready to be deployed on a broader scale,” said Dr Glenn Steele, president and CEO of Geisinger Health System.

Adherence is becoming an increasing priority for pharma companies, healthcare systems and organisations as they look to ensure patients benefit as much from care plans and medicines as possible, but more can be done.

In September, 2011 several groups, including the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), called for 'concrete EU-level action' to tackle a problem that they claimed led to 195,500 deaths in the region each year due to misdose and non-adherence.

19th June 2012

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