Saturday, April 08, 2006

Humana Collaborates with AstraZeneca & University of Miami to Improve Consumer Health

AstraZeneca, University of Miami, and Humana Collaborate to Improve Consumer Health
MIAMI, FL - Mar 14, 2006 - AstraZeneca, the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and Humana Innovation Enterprises, Inc. announced today the creation of a multi-year research collaboration to improve consumer health by addressing the growing nationwide problem of patients not taking their prescribed medication or getting the treatment they need for chronic health problems. The problem of medication non-adherence adds an estimated $100 billion to healthcare spending in the United States every year, according to a study from The New England Journal of Medicine.

Research shows that 43 percent of adults, 54 percent of children and teenagers and 55 percent of seniors do not take their medication as prescribed by their physicians. The research for this collaboration will be conducted through the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine–Humana Health Services Research Center on the school’s Miami campus. “We are pleased to be part of this important research project that I believe will make a positive difference in American’s health outcomes,” said Lawrence Gardner, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Miller School of Medicine. “I’m looking forward to the results of this research collaboration and the innovative actions we can take to make that happen.”
Key preliminary areas of focus for this research collaboration may include how to predict which patients with multiple chronic conditions have the most difficulty adhering to complex medication schedules; how physician-initiated care management might help with this problem; and, how technology might be used in offering patients needed support.

AstraZeneca, Humana and the UM Miller School of Medicine each have been pursuing opportunities to develop research to identify and implement methods to improve the care of patients with multiple chronic conditions.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, in 2002 chronic disease was responsible for a global mortality of more than 40 million people. By 2020, it is expected that chronic disease will contribute to nearly 70 million deaths with direct medical costs escalating to more than a trillion dollars. “Humana’s ability to engage consumers in managing their health, no matter what their individual circumstances, will help in developing and testing solutions as this research delves into the reasons behind non-adherence,” said Humana Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Jonathan T. Lord, M.D. “We are excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with the University of Miami and Humana to focus our efforts on providing a more personal and meaningful health care experience for both patients and physicians,” said Adele Gulfo, Vice President, Healthcare Innovation & Corporate Strategy, AstraZeneca.
Humana’s own database, along with its behavior change programs, consumer health and outcomes research capabilities, have been matched with the skills of the largest private research university in the southeastern United States, the University of Miami, in the creation of the Health Services Research Center. The Research Center provides an ideal environment to strengthen AstraZeneca’s commitment to developing treatments for chronic conditions and promoting appropriate pharmaceutical care through research.

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