Covectra’s new drug adherence programme may tackle misuse

Pharmacy imageA new medication adherence programme launched by supply chain security technology firm Covectra may help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its fight against the misuse and abuse of prescription medicines.

The programme uses the company’s AuthentiTrack technology, which enables unique identification down to the unit dose that can be leveraged for complete supply chain visibility, product integrity and track-and-trace applications.

According to Covectra, the programme includes a serialisation solution that allows for the early detection and correction of non-adherence, while simultaneously addressing new FDA requirements aimed at reducing the risk of opioid misuse. 

Specifically, manufacturers of extended-release and long-acting opioid medications had until mid-August to propose a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy to the agency to ensure that the benefits of their drug continue to outweigh the risks of adverse outcomes resulting from inappropriate prescribing, abuse and misuse (see FDA's REMS deadline helping to drive US traceability projects?). The REMS, once approved, will create enforceable obligations.

A substantial portion of the REMS requirements focus on prescriber education, and one of the goals of Covectra’s medication adherence programme is to improve prescriber confidence. "Our programme offers a significantly enhanced level of communication with patients, enabling busy physicians to improve patient monitoring and act as an early warning system of potential non-adherence," said Terrence O’Neill, the company's director of brand integrity solutions.

The programme also offers a platform for targeted recalls and allows brand representatives to authenticate inventory on the spot.

Covectra believes its programme will benefit manufacturers, hospitals, pharmacies and patients. One important advantage is that the programme can help establish a direct link between the pharmaceutical company and the patient, the company said.

It noted that one-third to one-half of all patients do not take medication as prescribed, but some 60 per cent of prescription medication non-adherence problems are preventable.

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