Hank Kucheman talks to EHM about the basics of Boston Scientificís innovative new dual-antiplatelet therapy compliance program.
EHM. Boston Scientific has initiated an innovative dual-antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) compliance program for patients who have received a drug-eluting stent. Can you tell us more about the program and why it’s important for these patients?
BS. The Stentplus Patient Success Program, sponsored by Boston Scientific, is the first program of its kind designed to help physicians meet the challenge of continuing care for their drug-eluting stent (DES) patients. The Stentplus Program provides tools to help their DES patients – regardless of stent brand – stay on the dual anti-platelet therapy that they prescribe for them. The program helps physicians educate patients on the importance of continuing essential DAPT as a supplement to their hospital and office-based education and counseling. Through clear, comprehensive education materials, the Stentplus Program provides patients with information about coronary artery disease, angioplasty and stent replacement procedures and reinforces the importance for patients to start on and stay with their doctor-prescribed anti-platelet medications.
EHM. What are the reasons that DES patients don’t take their DAPT medication?
BS. There are three primary factors contributing to patient noncompliance with dual anti-platelet therapy. First, when it comes to education, we know that patients are being told about the importance of their DAPT, however we also found that patient recall of information received during physician visits is generally no more than 50 percent. Second, patients don’t often clearly understand how long they should be taking their medication or simply forget to take their medication each day as prescribed. Worse yet, some DES patients never fill their first prescription for anti-platelet therapy. The third factor is financial: prescription drug costs can be cost prohibitive for some patients.
EHM. How does the Stenplus Program help address the compliance problem?
BS. Through regular communication and education, the Stentplus Program reinforces the importance of starting and continuing with essential dual anti-platelet therapy. The primary goal of the Stentplus Program is to help improve patient adherence through educational tools, reminders and assistance in identifying financial resources. By providing the Stentplus Program to their patients, physicians can be sure that their patients will be well informed and properly prepared to maintain compliance with their dual anti-platelet therapy.
EHM. What does the Stentplus Program do to help patients seek out financial assistance?
BS. The Stentplus Program raises the awareness of prescription financial assistance programs for eligible patients, helping them to navigate the complex range of options provided through private foundations, government programs and prescription discount cards. It’s worth noting that these financial assistance programs are available for more than their DAPT medication (clopidogrel), and that patients can use these services for all of their prescription medications.
EHM. Is the Stentplus Program only for those DES patients that have received Boston Scientific’s TAXUS Stent, or is the program open to all DES patients?
BS. We believe all patients, not just TAXUS patients, should have easy access to appropriate patient support after they receive a drug-eluting stent. So, we have constructed the Stentplus Program so that it is open to all DES patients, regardless of the brand of stent that they have received.
EHM. Will all hospitals have access to the Stentplus Program?
BS. Yes, all hospitals and physicians in the US will have access to the Stentplus Program.
EHM. Have any medical associations provided third-party endorsement of the Stentplus Program?
BS. Yes, the Stentplus Program has been reviewed and endorsed by the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), a 4000-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists in 70 nations.
EHM. How do people get additional information about the Stentplus Program?
BS. The Stentplus.com web site provides online educational tools and resources to help DES patients stay on their DAPT. This web site explains the need for DAPT compliance and how the Stentplus Program can help meet this challenge. Additional information about the Stentplus Program is available online at www.stentplus.com and is also available from Boston Scientific sales representatives.
Hank Kucheman is Senior Vice President and President for Cardiovascular Business, Boston Scientific Corporation. Kucheman joined Boston Scientific in 1995 as a result of the merger between Boston Scientific and SCIMED Life Systems, Inc. Prior to his current role, Kucheman was Senior Vice President of Marketing for Boston Scientific where he was responsible for the global marketing functions of the Company’s Cardiovascular group and all Corporate Marketing functions. He oversaw the commercialization strategy for the Company’s TAXUS Paclitaxel-Eluting Coronary Stent System, defined and developed the Boston Scientific Medical Affairs organization and initiated best-in-class Marketing Science and e-Marketing programs.