AstraZeneca has introduced Complete the Course, an education program to support patients taking its blood-thinning medication Brilinta.

AstraZeneca, Brilinta, ticagrelor, blood-thinning medication, Complete the Course, Access My Brilinta, acute coronary syndrome, ACS, heart attacks, James Ferguson

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AstraZeneca unveils Brilinta support program

September 19th, 2012

WILMINGTON, Del. – AstraZeneca has introduced Complete the Course, an education program to support patients taking its blood-thinning medication Brilinta.

The company said Wednesday that patients who enroll in the Complete the Course program receive support services across multiple channels to help them stay on their full course of Brilinta (ticagrelor) therapy.

One resource now available is Access My Brilinta, which AstraZeneca said provides time-saving prescription access and affordability information to patients and healthcare providers.

Complete the Course was created to address patient preference for how they receive information about their medication as they transition from hospital to home, according to AstraZeneca.

Patients enrolled in Complete the Course will get information about heart attacks, preventing a second heart attack, tips on preparing for doctor's visits, and reminders about doctor appointments, daily dosing and refills. The material also outlines the benefits and side effects of therapy with Brilinta and why it is important to continue taking medication as prescribed. The program also includes a patient pull-out tool that illustrates how Brilinta helps stop platelets from sticking together and forming a clot in an artery.

Access My Brilinta will be available online and by telephone. The program is designed to help ensure patients have access to their therapy with Brilinta as prescribed, including benefit verification, co-pay and coverage information, and information on prior authorization. The service will be available for patients, caregivers, physicians, nurses, discharge planners, pharmacists and other health care providers.

AstraZeneca cited a recent, nationwide patient survey showing that patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) value robust, multichannel communication to learn more about the medication prescribed.

"Cardiologists have a tremendous responsibility to not only provide the best possible care for their patients, but also to ensure that their patients receive complete information about their diagnosis and the importance of adherence to treatment," stated James Ferguson, M.D., executive director, medical affairs and strategic development, and vice president for global medical affairs. "With the combination of the Brilinta Complete the Course program along with Access My Brilinta, we are now able to provide a variety of resources to patients with ACS and healthcare providers to help ensure continuity and optimal delivery of care throughout the course of treatment."

The study, sponsored by AstraZeneca and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, polled 201 patients age 60 and older who have suffered a heart attack or have been diagnosed with ACS (including heart attack and chest pain) and have been prescribed some form of medication for treatment of their heart attack.

The survey found that 59% of the ACS patients have never researched the medication they were prescribed for the treatment of their heart attack on the Internet, 51% indicated they are likely to answer phone-call reminders about prescription refills from the prescription drug manufacturer, 34% are likely to read e-mails about their prescription and heart attack treatment from the drug manufacturer, and 69% are likely to read the inserts that come with their prescription from the pharmacy.

"With over 1 million people diagnosed with ACS each year, there is an ever-increasing need for additional tools and resources that can help patients and their caregivers learn about and understand ACS. These materials may help patients maintain their medication regimen," Ferguson added.