WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark is enhancing its hepatitis C patient support program following the recent Food and Drug Administration approval of two new add-on therapies for hepatitis C, the company announced on Friday.
While the new therapies offer improved response rates and a shorter treatment regimen for patients, they still result in uncomfortable and challenging side effects. The Hep C CareTeam educates patients about their disease and treatment regimen and supports them throughout therapy. The team also researches and manages the benefits verification process, ensures on-time delivery of the medication, coordinates injection training for new patients and communicates proactively with the patient's physician.
"As the treatment landscape for hepatitis C changes with the addition of two new therapies, we see an even greater need to provide patients with support to help them manage their medications and stay adherent," CVS Caremark specialty pharmacy operations SVP Scott Reid said. "Our CareTeam approach connects patients with a dedicated team, including a nurse and specially trained pharmacists that are available to provide support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
The CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy Hep C CareTeam is comprised of nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy service representatives. These professionals are focused on the treatment of hepatitis C and undergo training and education related to the disease and available therapies. The Hep C CareTeam reinforces the physician's instructions to make sure the patient safely and effectively administers their prescribed medication and proactively communicates with the physician as needed to address any treatment related issues or complications that may arise.
Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne viral infection in the United States. Current estimates suggest that approximately 3.2 million Americans may be infected with the virus, many of whom are unaware they have the disease because they do not experience any symptoms. Traditional therapies for the disease have low response rates and often have significant side effects (primarily flu-like symptoms) that cause the patient to feel worse during therapy and may contribute to nonadherence. In fact, only about 25% of patients who initiate therapy complete the full treatment regimen.