September 2013 Edition Vol.11, Issue 9

Challenges with Adherence Highlight Unmet Needs in Oncology

Challenges with Adherence Highlight Unmet Needs
in Oncology (continued)

Non-adherence can have a large negative effect not only on patients’ physical and mental well-being, but on the healthcare system at large. Physical and mental health statuses, as well as overall quality of life, for patients in the treatment groups were derived from the validated questionnaire, SF-36v2. The oral therapy patients’ mean physical health status score was 38.8 versus 50.3 for the total U.S. adult population. However, a statistically significant difference in mental health status was observed in the three cancer patient populations depending on whether they were adherent to treatment regimens. The average U.S. adult has a mental health status score of 48.4; among the leukemia, melanoma, and NSCLC patients surveyed, that score was 49.5 for patients who were 100% adherent to their treatment versus 44.4 among patients who engaged in some sort of non-adherent behavior.

Beyond the potential impact of non-adherence on patients’ mental health status, there are potential societal implications as well, in terms of increased healthcare resource use. The NHWS data showed that leukemia, melanoma, and NSCLC patients tended to be hospitalized or visit emergency rooms more often if they were non-adherent, although these differences did not reach statistical significance, perhaps due to the small sample sizes involved. The non-adherent cancer patients reported an average of 1.18 visits to the ER and were hospitalized 0.97 times over the preceding months, compared with 0.25 ER visits and 0.42 hospitalizations for 100% adherent patients.

Because the data revealed a significant level of non-adherence among the respondent groups, an emphasis needs to be placed on improving adherence rates to maximize treatment benefit and reduce societal costs. As more oral therapies enter the market and uptake increases, adherence will become an increasingly important topic in this therapeutic area.

About the Contributors

Amir Goren, Ph.D., is Manager, Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Kantar Health; and Marco DiBonaventura, Ph.D., is Vice President, Health Outcomes, Kantar Health. Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

The study’s results were drawn from the 2012 U.S. National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older. Kantar Health conducts the NHWS in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported dataset in the healthcare industry.

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