LOUISVILLE, Ky. and RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Jan. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the country's leading health and well-being companies, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., a global pharmaceutical company with nearly a century of experience in respiratory health, announced today the publication of a new study showing an association between non-adherence to medications for many chronic diseases and non-adherence to COPD medications. This new study was published in Volume 12, 2017 of the academic journal, International Journal of COPD.
COPD is a progressive respiratory disease characterized by increased breathlessness, frequent coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Although there is no cure for COPD, healthcare providers often choose to prescribe daily maintenance medications to treat symptoms and reduce the risk of exacerbations, which are a sudden onset of COPD symptoms that can lead to hospitalizations or even death.
"Because people living with COPD are frequently diagnosed with another chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, we designed this new study to explore the relationship between adherence to daily medicines for these other diseases and adherence to daily maintenance medicines for COPD," said Phil Schwab with Humana's Comprehensive Health Insights, who is study co-author and investigator. "The study results showed patients who are likely to be non-adherent to other medicines are also likely to be non-adherent to their COPD medicines."
Given the consistency in patterns of medication adherence between COPD medications and medications for other chronic diseases, the authors speculated that there may be common factors that negatively affect medication adherence in general. Such factors might include lack of coordinated healthcare or behavioral and socioeconomic characteristics of the patient population such as forgetfulness, low health literacy, or low income.
"These findings are important, because they help guide physicians on how best to support COPD patients with historically low adherence in taking their medications so they can achieve optimal health outcomes," said Dr. Andrew Renda, M.D. MPH, Bold Goal Director for Humana. "Rather than focus on the number and type of comorbidities with COPD, holistic adherence improvement efforts should address access, affordability, and most importantly, education on how these medications improve symptoms and quality of life while reducing the risk of exacerbations."
"Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to partner with Humana on this important study that provides new insights into the significant challenge of treatment adherence in people living with COPD and other chronic diseases," said Danny McBryan, MD, Head, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "For over 40 years, we have had an unwavering commitment to the COPD community, and we will continue to support important research efforts that strive to provide new answers and new hope from people living with COPD."
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term that includes chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. This chronic respiratory disease can make breathing harder because less air is able to flow in and out of the lungs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic lower respiratory diseases, which include COPD, are the third leading cause of death in the United States and more than 15 million Americans have been told by a healthcare provider that they have COPD.
The most common symptom of COPD is shortness of breath, especially during physical activities. Coughing, with or without mucus production, is also a common symptom of COPD. These symptoms can be misunderstood as signs of aging. COPD is usually associated with progressive airway damage and loss that cause breathing to get more difficult.
The goals of COPD treatment are an improvement in breathing, also known as lung function, and a reduction in the risk of exacerbations, which are a sudden onset of symptoms that can last for days and may lead to permanent reductions in lung function, hospitalization or even death. Some people with COPD may benefit from medications that relax the muscles around the airways to help relieve symptoms to make breathing easier.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company's strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company's web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:
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About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation.
Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, the company operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 47,000 employees. Since its founding in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel treatments for human and veterinary medicine.
Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and providing valuable services and support to patients and their families. Our employees create and engage in programs that strengthen our communities. To learn more about how we make more health for more people, visit our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about $15.8 billion (14.8 billion euros). R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 percent of its net sales.
For more information, please visit www.us.boehringer-ingelheim.com, or follow us on Twitter @BoehringerUS.
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SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.