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Drug Delivery, Rewards Companies Partner on Med. Adherence

Pills and drug bottles (


6 October 2014. West Pharmaceutical Services, a company producing devices for administering drugs, and HealthPrize Technologies that offers an online system for rewarding patients when they follow medication instructions, are collaborating on a platform that connects their products into a service to boost medication adherence. Financial details of the venture were not disclosed.

The companies plan to offer their service to drug manufacturers as an integrated system to improve the number of patients taking their medications as prescribed. Getting patients to take prescribed drugs is a particular problem with chronic diseases. A 2003 report by World Health Organization estimates half of patients are not taking medications as prescribed, with reasons attributed to behavior, activities, and incentives of the patients, physicians, and health care systems.

Not only does the health of patients suffer when they don’t take their prescribed drugs, the pharmaceutical companies worldwide lose an estimated $564 billion in revenue, according to a study for HealthPrize by CapGemini. HealthPrize Technologies, in Norwalk, Connecticut offers online services to encourage patients with chronic diseases to take their medications as prescribed, using games and other incentives. Its program aims to provide short-term rewards for patients who may receive long-term benefits from taking their drugs, but who need incentives in the interim to keep up with their medications.

West Pharmaceutical Services in Exton, Pennsylvania produces drug packaging, diagnostics, and delivery systems for the pharmaceutical industry. Among its products are hand-held and wearable devices for self-injected drugs or biologics, such as insulin. Under the deal, West and HealthPrize will develop drug delivery systems connected electronically to track adherence, engage and educate patients on the value of following medication instructions, and provide rewards for taking their drugs as prescribed.

While the collaboration is expected to focus first on West’s self-medication systems, the companies say they’re aiming for a comprehensive solution that can be applied to more types of devices. They anticipate employing technologies such as QR codes, near-field communications, and so-called smart labels with built-in radio-frequency ID tags, that can be extended to drug delivery systems made by companies other than West.

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