Veterans with epilepsy: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE), biopharmaceutical company UCB and health data-sharing website PatientsLikeMe® announce a new study to better understand what factors improve health outcomes for veterans with epilepsy. The ECoE has recently completed a pilot study focused on collecting and sharing real world, patient-reported data on seizure frequency and severity, treatment adherence, patient and physician dialogue and overall quality of life. The study is now open and available to all veterans living with epilepsy at www.poemstudy.org .
“This collaborative effort, with partners from government and private industry, provides an exciting opportunity to improve the outcomes of the thousands of veterans with epilepsy. Our work together may also deliver insights into how we can improve the care for anyone with epilepsy,” says study lead and ECoE’s John Hixson, M.D.
As part of their initial partnership to help epilepsy patients, which began in 2010, PatientsLikeMe and UCB conducted a study of members of the PatientsLikeMe epilepsy community that showed that people with epilepsy who joined PatientsLikeMe better understood their own seizures and improved adherence to their medications. The new study of veterans will integrate validated clinical outcome measures alongside the patient-reported benefits of the online PatientsLikeMe community. The community platform allows patients to update their physician on aspects of their epilepsy, such as changes in symptoms and medication side effects, and enables physicians to view this patient data prior to clinic visits. The goal is to provide a complementary support system that enhances clinic visits and improves patient outcomes.
UCB, a leader in epilepsy, is providing the funding for the study.
“We are committed to improving the standard of care for people living with epilepsy. We believe that this collaboration will address some of the unique challenges faced by veterans impacted by epilepsy and will be a model for other providers of care,” says Patty Fritz , Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Operations at UCB.
According to the ECoE, approximately 5.6 million veterans visit VA Medical Centers each year, and approximately 66,000 of these veterans are diagnosed with seizures or epilepsy. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder defined as two or more unprovoked seizures.
Adds Jamie Heywood , co-founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe, “This is a great opportunity to validate our earlier findings, which revealed that epilepsy patients using our website reduced side effects, increased compliance and reduced ER visits. Our partnership further demonstrates how committed UCB and the VA are to advancing innovation in health care. Collaborations like this will build the foundation for a patient-centric future in medicine.”
Tricare pharmacy policy update: TRICARE beneficiaries continue to have the freedom to choose among plenty of pharmacy options including military pharmacies, TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery and 57,000 network pharmacies. However, those who use non-network pharmacies, including Walgreens, will pay the full cost of the prescription up front and then submit their own claims to get reimbursed. To find a nearby network pharmacy, use the “find a pharmacy” feature on www.express-scripts.com/tricare or download the free app from www.express-scripts.com/ mobile, the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace. Beneficiaries who have other questions can contact Express Scripts at 877-885-6313. TRICARE pharmacy information and updates can be found at www.tricare.mil/pharmacy. [Source: Army Echoes Jan-Apr 2013]
Flags: The American Legion Post 70 has on hand American flags, all of the military service flags, POW/MIA flags, and S.C. State flags. Contact a member of Post 70 to purchase flags; the cost is $5.
American Legion Post 70 - Meeting at 1800 on the third Tuesday of the month. For more information, please contact Thomas Crisp at 940-2793.
American Legion Post 24, of Newberry, meeting is on the second Tuesday of the month at 1830. The American Legion Auxiliary –Unit 24 meet the same day at 3 p.m. at Post 24.