Director of Medical Affairs: Ingenuity Health Database and Reference Ranges May Help Clinicians Better Treat Those with Serious Mental Illness

August 13, 2014

Director of Medical Affairs: Ingenuity Health Database and Reference Ranges May Help Clinicians Better Treat Those with Serious Mental Illness

Michael DeGeorge, PharmD, director of medical affairs for Ameritox and Ingenuity Health, discusses the launch of a method to help physicians assess medication adherence in behavioral health patients prescribed the antipsychotic drug Seroquel XR, one of the 40 best-selling medications in the U.S. In the Q&A below, DeGeorge explains how this method is the critical next step in building a comprehensive reference database of those with serious mental illness (SMI) who are clinically assessed as adherent to their prescribed antipsychotic, and the impact of this database.

What hurdles do clinicians face in treating those with SMI?

Studies show that about 50 percent of patients with serious mental illness don’t take their prescribed medication correctly, if at all. This creates one of the biggest barriers to long-term health for those with SMI, as medication non-adherence often leads to medical and societal problems, including hospitalizations, ER visits, and violent behavior. Medication monitoring can provide doctors and other specialists with objective information when assessing patients, positioning them to make more informed treatment decisions. A routine evaluation of medication use with a urine drug screen is recommended by leading national behavioral health associations, including the American Psychiatric Association.

What exactly did Ingenuity Health develop with regard to Seroquel XR? What effect will it have?

Ameritox’s Ingenuity Health conducted research that provides additional information to a physician about whether a patient may be taking Seroquel XR as prescribed. By comparing normalized urine drug monitoring results against this reference database of patients clinically assessed as adherent, clinicians will have more information as they assess, manage and treat patients prescribed Seroquel XR.

Ameritox developed a similar reference range for Abilify earlier this year. Why was Seroquel chosen as the next medication for which to develop a reference range?

Abilify is the top-selling medication in the U.S., and very widely prescribed, and Seroquel has a similar profile: It’s one of the 40 best-selling medications, and is a popular prescription for treating schizophrenia and other disorders.

How does the Seroquel reference range fit in to the reference database of behavioral health medication adherence?

Seroquel is one of eight antipsychotic medications Ingenuity Health currently offers testing for. The reference range curve is based on results from patients in a controlled study.

How can the reference database help clinicians?

The database can help clinicians in treating their patients by providing them with additional information to help address the acute problem of medication non-adherence in those with serious mental illness (SMI). This additional information can help physicians improve the quality of patient care and help the practitioner assess patients in making treatment decisions.

This reference range, along with one for Abilify that was launched earlier this year, adds to the line of prescription medication reference ranges in the Rx Guardian CD databases that helps physicians assess medication adherence.