Study: Mobile pharma app increases med adherence

Mobile apps geared toward helping HIV patients adhere to medication intake requirements can significantly boost medication adherence, according to a new report conducted by Avella Specialty Pharmacy.

The Avella study states that 79 percent of 224 HIV patients who used its mobile pharmacy app attained at least 90 percent medication adherence, which represents a 2.9 times higher success rate in managing the disease than those who did not use the tool. Just 65 percent of 1,896 patients who were not provided the app achieved at least 90 percent medication adherence, according to an announcement on the study.

"Medication adherence is essential to the efficacy of HIV treatment, as patients with this condition must maintain 90 percent adherence to achieve viral suppression otherwise they risk an increase in treatment failure," the announcement says. The study implemented proportion of days covered to assess the adherence rate of HIV patients who were taking both single and multi-source medications.

Avella notes a 2014 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found only 30 percent of HIV-positive Americans have achieved viral suppression. It also points out that the National Institute of Health claims the loss of virologic control as a consequence of non-adherence to antiretroviral medication, which may lead to drug resistance and loss of future treatment options.

While mHealth tools have been making strong strides into the healthcare environment, mobile tech adoption within the pharmaceutical sector has been slower, at least in terms of website optimization. Only about 33 percent of pharmas have mobile optimized their product websites, according to a survey by Manhattan Research. Of the more than 50 pharma companies participating in the survey, two-thirds had just one mobile app for healthcare professionals or none at all.

Pharmaceutical companies seeking to implement mHealth programs lack clear objectives and have not developed well-defined action plans, according to a 2013 report by Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based consulting firm Cutting Edge Information.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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