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Alere Previews Findings from Key Research Study on Medication Adherence at Integrated Benefits Institute Conference
Date:3/1/2011

ATLANTA, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Medication adherence alone may not be enough to impact the productivity of employees with chronic conditions such as depression, diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease.  That key finding and others from a major research study will be previewed by Alere Health and other industry experts at the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) and National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) Conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 1.

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Alere Senior Healthcare Analyst Vince Haufle will co-present the overview along with other study authors.  Key participants in the study include Alere, IBI and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). Funding for the study was provided by the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC).

The new study is a follow up to the landmark 2009 study, "Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy," which demonstrated how, on average, health-related lost productivity costs are 2.3 times more than the medical and pharmacy costs for chronic conditions. That same study also recommended a further look at the impact of medication adherence on lost productivity.

At the IBI presentation, Haufle and his co-presenters will give an overview of the research to be published, which was gathered over a 12-month period and covers five large employers with more than 86,000 employees.  The study looked at medication adherence, co-morbidity, health risks and other factors associated with workplace productivity.  Researchers were surprised to find that medication adherence alone did not always equate with higher levels of productivity.

"This study provides evidence suggesting that among a largely medication-compliant group of employees with chronic health conditions, high modifiable health risk status remained a significant predictor of lower job performance (presenteeism) and the number of chronic health condition co-morbidities a significant predictor of absence from work (absenteeism)," notes Haufle. "Medication adherence is obviously a critical element of an effective health management strategy to reduce illness burden.  However, this alone may be insufficient to reach the full potential for improving employee productivity.  The findings of this study underscore the importance of addressing elevated modifiable health risks in efforts to improve productivity.

"The takeaway for employers from this study is that you have to look at the whole patient – not just a single chronic illness," notes Haufle.  "We think that this study dramatically illustrates that even programs that promote medication adherence – which is without a doubt critical – must be sure to also address other illnesses the employee may have.  This approach will help employees be healthier, more productive on the job and ultimately reduce employers healthcare spend."

About Alere:

Alere Health is the health management services business of Alere Inc. (previously Inverness Medical Innovations) (NYSE: ALR).  Alere, a Latin verb, meaning "to care for" or "to support", offers the most patient-centered health management services available from a single provider in the industry. Alere provides health interventions that cover an individual's entire lifespan, from pre-cradle to end-of-life care, as well as the continuum from wellness and prevention, to total health management of the individual for those having chronic illnesses.  Alere's continuum of services begins with genetic testing, preconception, pregnancy, NICU and first year of life services; continues with lifelong programs focused on health, wellness and the management of chronic conditions such as heart failure, COPD, and asthma, up to the complex care management required in end-of-life care.  For more information regarding Alere, please visit www.alere.com.


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