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 data base, 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.
About University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Serving more than five million people as the only academic medical center in South Florida, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has earned international acclaim for research, clinical care, and biomedical innovations. Founded in 1952 as Florida's first accredited medical school, the University of Miami provides the medical staff for the nationally renowned University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.
In 2005, U.S. News & World Report listed Bascom Palmer Eye Institute as the number one hospital in the country for ophthalmology for the second year in a row. Seven additional UM School of Medicine specialties were also listed among the nation's best: kidney disease; hormonal disorders; ear, nose and throat; geriatrics; digestive disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; and urology.
Each year the medical school's 777 faculty physicians have more than a million patient encounters, in primary care and more than 30 specialties. Research is a top priority, with more than 800 ongoing projects funded by more than $217 million in external grants and contracts to UM faculty. The school ranks in the top third among U.S. medical schools in terms of research funding awarded. The School of Medicine campus consists of 35 acres within the 80-acre complex of the UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, including 1.9 million square feet of research space.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 9 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services – through traditional and consumer-choice plans – to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals. Humana is one of Florida's leading health benefits companies with more than 360,000 commercial health plan members statewide, including 175,000 members in South Florida.
Over its 45-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company's Web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:
AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $23.95 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $10.77 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com
About University of Miami-Humana Health Services Research Center
The University of Miami-Humana Health Services Research Center, located on the downtown Miami campus of the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, was launched in May 2005.
The joint Health Services Research Center is focused on devising new ways to prevent disease and manage chronic illness. The Research Center is devoted to innovative health services research involving a number of new strategies to maintain health and improve the management of chronic illness. The overriding goals of the Research Center are to keep individuals healthy and reduce health care costs.
The Research Center is slated to open its new, permanent facility on the University of Miami's medical campus this summer.
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