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Prime Therapeutics' studies find cholesterol-lowering statins are underused
Date:10/26/2015

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationally, approximately half of patients prescribed statins as a cholesterol lowering therapy discontinue use within the first year, and adherence continues to decrease as time goes on.1 Recent studies by Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) identified commercially-insured members who had claims indicating they had a diagnosis of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and could lower their risk of having serious events such as a heart attack with a low-cost statin regimen.

Two related studies will be presented at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus event in Orlando, Oct. 26-29. One is an AMCP gold medal award winning study looking at incidence and claims cost of coronary heart disease (CHD) events, and the other analyzes statin therapy related to the intensity, adherence and number of statin tried among adults with ASCVD.2,3

In 2013, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) updated the cholesterol treatment guidelines which significantly changed the cholesterol drug therapy recommendations to high intensity statin therapy for almost all individuals with ASCVD.

Prime studied 3 million commercially-insured adult members who were continuously enrolled for four years through 2014 and identified those with ASCVD. Of the 1.8 percent with ASCVD, only 20 percent were adherent to high intensity statin therapy and 27 percent had no statin claim in 2014. Of those without a statin claim or non adherent, only 1 in 4 members tried a second statin, when the updated guidelines recommended a second trial.

Prime's GuidedHealth® program helps identify members with ASCVD who are not taking a statin or who are not adherent to their current prescriptions. By encouraging members to take their statins as prescribed, this program helps members improve their health at a lower price point - pennies per day. An advanced treatment recommendation could include Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin type 9 inhibitors (PCSK9i), which are priced at over $14,000 per year for members meeting the PCSK9i prior authorization criteria.

"With an average total claims cost of $56,233 associated with a CHD event, our research shows there is significant opportunity for members to become more adherent to lower-cost statin therapies that will help avoid these events," said Kevin Bowen, M.D., M.B.A., principal health outcomes researcher at Prime. "These two studies underscore the importance of targeting patients with established ASCVD to identify statin underuse and the subsequent health care costs of leaving elevated cholesterol levels untreated."

To view the research posters that will be presented at the AMCP event, visit study 1 and study 2 on primetherapeutics.com.

About Prime Therapeutics
Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) helps people get the medicine they need to feel better and live well. Prime manages pharmacy benefits for health plans, employers, and government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. The company processes claims and delivers medicine to members, offering clinical services for people with complex medical conditions. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., Prime serves more than 26 million people. It is collectively owned by 13 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those plans. Prime has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation.

For more information, visit www.primetherapeutics.com or follow @Prime_PBM on Twitter.Contact: 

Denise LecherPrime Therapeutics Manager, Communications612.777.5763Denise.Lecher@primetherapeutics.com


 

1.Ellis JJ, et al. Suboptimal statin adherence and discontinuation in primary and secondary prevention populations. J Gen Intern Med 2004; 19(6):638-645.2.Bowen KK, Gleason PP. Cumulative Incidence and Incremental Claims Cost of Coronary Heart Disease Events in a Commercially Insured Cohort Stratified by Risk. J Manag Care Pharm 2015; 21(10-a):S55.3.Bowen K, Gleason PP. Statin Therapy, Intensity, Adherence, and Number of Distinct Statins Tried Among Commercially Insured Adults with Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) Continuously Enrolled Before and After the 2013 ACC./AHA Cholesterol Guidelines. J Manag Care Pharm 2015;21(10-a):S56

 



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