In finding cure, compliance is the key!
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
Chronic diseases are a global burden. They are the largest cause of mortality the world over. Leading chronic diseases like cardiovascular illnesses, cancer, chronic respiratory ailments, and diabetes have caused 29-million deaths globally. Despite a growing health and economic impact, the global response to this seemingly burgeoning problem remains inadequate.
In Third World countries like ours, where health care systems are not easily accessible, the problem is escalated exponentially. In the Philippines alone, about 10.5-million Filipinos have been found to be hypertensive, while an estimated 4-million are diagnosed with diabetes. What’s alarming is that these conditions rank among today’s killer diseases.
“Risk factors like hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol levels don’t kill but the complications do as these may lead to heart attack and/or stroke. Having these conditions is a metabolic syndrome wherein one becomes a ‘walking time-bomb’ that’s ready to explode at any given moment. Thus, if conditions involve any important organ in the body, like if arteries are blocked, stroke will happen. The rate of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is rising annually. This health concern needs to be addressed as CVD is the leading killer disease worldwide,” shared cardiologist Dr. Raffy Castillo, past president of the Philippine Heart Association, during his keynote speech at the re-launching ceremonies of Watson’s compliance packs for chronic diseases.
The Watson’s compliance packs were first introduced to the market in 2010. “We are re-launching what we started a year-and-a-half ago. In the Philippines, affordability is a basic ingredient,” stressed Lyle Morell, health business unit director for Watson’s. He added that from 60 percent, savings is now up to 80 percent, and the price goes down even further for such compulsory discount cards like the Senior Citizens 20 percent privilege and the Watson’s PhilHealth card.
People diagnosed with chronic illnesses like hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels) must change their lifestyles from how it used to be; now with more restrictions in dietary intake and strenuous activities, as well as the additional ‘pillbox’ needed for the medicines they’ll need to take regularly for the rest of their lives.
For those recently diagnosed, the shift to embrace an altogether new lifestyle won’t be easy; aside from a possible sense of denial at the onset. The need to comply with a medications routine as a new habit may be difficult to adopt as part of their new daily regimen.
The problem arises when, even if patients know they need medicines – even consulting physicians for prescriptions – yet, they don’t buy the whole prescribed number at once because they think it is more expensive. Thus, they miss out on the dosage of maintenance medicines by not purchasing the full dosage required in the first place. It takes too much effort for a patient to integrate a lifetime of treatment into his daily routine.
“130 percent of Asians will be diabetic by the year 2030. The Philippines, as foreseen, may be in the Top Ten list if conditions are not curbed this early. Sometimes, I would know if risk factors have set in a particular person by just looking at their waistlines: For males its 36” and above, while for females it is 33” and higher. Wanting to get better is a mindset decision and discipline plays a major role in the long run,” pointed out Dr. Castillo.
Longer, Meaningful Existence
Happy and healthy living can be easy with Compliance Packs. “It’s high time for patients to take charge of their health/well-being and be disciplined in managing their illnesses. Through this program, we want to build awareness on medication compliance as a vital tool for therapeutic health, especially when it comes to chronic conditions. This is because, despite having these illnesses, it’s still possible for patients to enjoy healthier, quality lives,” Morell stressed out.
Among the key elements on successfully managing chronic ailments, especially on cardiovascular conditions and diabetes, are the affordability of clinically-proven primary maintenance medications and the availability of these medicines to ensure uninterrupted treatment.
Prescription minuses can worsen one’s illnesses and make it difficult for patients to cope with complications, so they have the Compliance Packs which makes managing their respective health issues easier and hassle-free. While doctors prescribe the dosage and amount of medicines to be taken, patients, however, tend to lapse purchase and eventually miss the required dosage to make them better.
Awareness and education on the chronicity of a disease, its complications if not controlled, the need for lifestyle modification (especially on practical diet and nutrition) coupled with physical activity encouragement are parameters that needs to be addressed by each individual concern.
Cure Within Reach
The price of each Watson’s Compliance Pack is 80% lesser than leading brands and 17% much lesser than those bought on retail (tingi-tingi). And since the packs are manufactured by partner Unilab, consumers are assured of gold-standard, quality formulations. Already sold in packs as prescribed by doctors, it therefore minimizes the chances of missing a dose. Compliance Packs alleviate the negative effects to lives of those suffering from chronic diseases in the country and is one of the first concrete steps to get better the affordable way.
What’s more, each Compliance Pack contains product leaflets that contain valuable information on the disease/illness, as well as sensible tips on how to stay healthy; thereby avoiding further complications.
Exclusively available at Watson’s, Compliance Packs consists of medicines specially-packed in quantities commonly prescribed by MDs for treatment of such conditions as hypertension (Amlodipine Besilate, Losartan Potassium and/or Metoprolol Tartrate), diabetes (Metformin HCl) and hyperlipidemia (Simvastatin). The packs not only increase awareness among new users and non-consulting consumers but also minimize the chance of missed doses.
“This continues our fight for universal health care from when we started campaigning for generic, affordable medicines in 2003. Conscientious partners are effective by being transformation agents in effecting behavioral change. PhilHealth, in turn, mandates that there will be no balance billing for admitted patients who cannot afford to pay. There’s no other time place and time to fight disease but here and now!” enthused PhilHealth’s acting spokesperson Dr. Robert So.
Watson’s Pharmacy, the purveyor in a number of compliance categories, through its Compliance Pack advocacy, drumbeats these efforts as part of the global Watson’s Care campaign. 2012 marks Watson’s 10th year anniversary after opening its first outlet at the Podium in 2002. To date, Watson’s has now 230 branches in 30 cities across the country, and, by the end of 2012, the number will increase to 270. The company serves an aggregate of 160,000 consumers per day for all its stores. They are a pioneer in educating consumers on the compliance of medications for wellness and well-being. For more information, simply log-on to their Web site www.watsons.com.ph.