Therapeutic compliance, the European Beamer project was born to improve it

Aderenza terapeutica, per migliorarla nasce il progetto europeo Beamer

Rome, November 23 –Innovative Drugs Initiative (Imi), a project launched in 2007 by the European Commission in collaboration with Efipia, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, announces the launch of a promising project aimed at improving patients’ adherence to medicines, whose lack of (non-compliance) is associated with adverse patient outcomes and significant costs.

Led by Pfizer and Merck KGaA (a German company not to be confused with the American Merck Sharp & Dhome) and managed by the University of Porto, the five-year project called Behavior and Compliance Model for Improving the quality, health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of healthcare (Beamer) brings together 28 European partners from academia, patient associations and industry to better understand the factors influencing patient compliance and then develop an independent model that can help health professionals develop sustainable cost-effective solutions that improve compliance rates and patient needs.

The World Health Organization defines therapeutic compliance as the degree to which the patient follows the physician’s recommendations regarding the dose, time, and frequency of medication for the entire duration of treatment. The patient’s failure to follow the prescribed treatment represents a huge health problem: to understand its impact, it is enough to consider that it contributes to 200,000 premature deaths in Europe each year and causes a great financial burden on the health system. Non-compliance with the treatments, according to estimates, actually creates a cost of approximately 125,000,000,000 euros for hospitalization, emergency care and outpatient visits each year that could have been avoided.

Despite existing research on medication adherence for specific diseases, there is little information on how to improve adherence to healthcare. In this light, Beamer aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors that affect patient compliance, regardless of the treatment area, and to design effective solutions that could lead to a broad and coherent impact in a real context.

To achieve these goals, the project will create a generalized model of the important factors influencing non-adherent behavior, based on behavioral theory. The development of such a model will allow the project team to identify the problem of non-compliance and to develop and implement cost-effective tools and solutions that directly target the causes of non-compliance. These tools and solutions will provide guidance to healthcare stakeholders, help improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. Although independent of a specific type of disease, the model is designed to be able to adapt to inputs for specific diseases, increase its prognostic power, and optimize patient support strategies.

This degree of flexibility will allow the model to be widely applicable and responsive to the changes taking place in different populations. “Compliance with treatment is a problem public health since 50% of patients do not take medication as prescribed ” claims Elísio Costa, Beamer project manager and Porto4Ageing coordinator at the University of Porto (in the picture). “This can have a significant impact on their quality of life and health outcomes (including premature death), as well as on the cost of health care.”

“To overcome this challenge, we need to better understand the underlying factors that cause this phenomenon and work closely with patients and health professionals, who will be the main beneficiaries of the solutions proposed by the Beamer project.” adds Claire Everitt, project pharmaceutical director, head of the self-appointed Pfizer Engineering Team “Incredibly enthusiastic” Beamer’s ability to improve drug compliance among patients with many different diseases and from all walks of life. “The positive effects of successful drug development and diagnosis are greatly reduced if patients do not follow the prescribed regimen. “We hope this project will provide the tools to help industry, doctors and health systems improve drug compliance rates by identifying and addressing patient needs.”

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