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MSD launches diabetes programme with pharmacy network

Will support medicines optimisation in people prescribed Januvia
msd januvia pharmacy programme

Pharma company MSD has partnered with UK-based pharmacy network Numark to support people with type 2 diabetes.

The programme will provide tools and training to Numark's membership of 3,000 independent pharmacies in the UK to help pharmacists improve patient outcomes.

This includes using pharmacists to help patients understand the benefits of the medicines and to provide advice on diet and exercise to help control their diabetes.

The programme is specifically designed to help patients who are prescribed Januvia (sitagliptin), a type 2 diabetes treatment marketed by MSD, known as Merck & Co in the US and Canada.

Januvia, launched in 2006, is one of several treatments in the increasingly competitive DPP-4 inhibitor market. More recent rivals include Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim's Tradjenta/Trajenta (linagliptin) and AstraZeneca's Onglyza (saxagliptin).

Although effective in helping to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes there are well known problems in helping patients adhere to treatment guidelines in diabetes, as well as other long-term conditions, reducing the potential positive effect of a medicine.

There are several efforts to improve treatment adherence in the UK through medicines optimisation campaigns, which are intended to make sure patients take the right medicine in the right amount at the right time.

It's an objective that applies to all healthcare professionals, but the UK government has singled out community pharmacists as an untapped resource that can build a relationship with a local community and encourage better use of medicines.

This was backed by MSD's patients and pharmacy services manager Samuel Pygall who said: “We understand that the pharmacist-patient interaction is one of the most critical along the patient journey and that maximising its impact is essential to enhancing patient care. There is a wealth of support material available that should be made available at the point of medication dispensing.”

Numark's Mimi Lau explained the benefits that better use of medicines can have.

“Medicines optimisation initiatives can reduce medicines wastage and hospital admissions by effective management of chronic illness and it is well documented how this can contribute to financial savings for the NHS,” said Lau.

10th November 2014

From: Sales, Healthcare

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