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Shellpak® Demonstrates Statistically Significant Improvement in Patient Medication Adherence
Date:6/16/2011

RICHMOND, Va., June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to new data published in Clinical Therapeutics, the way a medication is packaged can have a significant impact on whether patients take it as prescribed. The study showed that Shellpak® calendar blister packaging from MeadWestvaco Corp. (NYSE: MWV), a provider of pharmaceutical packaging solutions, was associated with improvement in prescription adherence behavior in patients when compared with traditional pill vials. According to the researchers, a Shellpak-based adherence strategy could provide a substantial cumulative public health benefit when broadly implemented over a large population.

Poor adherence to medication is a growing issue across the country. The New England Healthcare Institute estimates the current cost of drug-related morbidity, including poor adherence, to be as much as $290 billion annually in avoidable medical spending, 13% of total U.S. healthcare spending. Research also shows that half of all patients in the U.S. do not take their medicines as prescribed, a dismal level of adherence which has held steady over the past three decades. Poor adherence leads to worsening of disease, serious and avoidable health risks, increased hospitalizations and even death. Within the study, the use of Shellpak, a proprietary calendarized 30-day, unit-of-use medication package, demonstrated improvement in the adjusted estimates of refill persistence and adherence as measured by length of therapy and proportion of days covered with medication.

"We know there are many factors affecting medication adherence, and we know that the most successful solutions will involve multiple components," said study co-author Lenn Murrelle, MSPH, PhD, and principal founder of Venebio, a life sciences research consultancy. "What's exciting about this study is that medication packaging alone was found to have a po
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SOURCE MeadWestvaco Corporation
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