For diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), patient compliance in taking prescribed medications for the treatment of the indication is paramount: no matter how effective a treatment may be, without effective patient participation in ensuring that the treatment is taken consistently, therapies cannot be successful. In an effort to improve patient compliance and increase awareness of its COPD therapies, Forest Laboratories Inc. recently announced the launch of the STRIDE (Start Treatment, Real-time Information, Disease Education) patient support program, which is designed to help those prescribed Tudorza, Pressair, (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder) or Daliresp, (roflumilast) by answering questions directly from patients about their COPD treatment.
The concept behind the STRIDE program is for Forest to be able to reach out directly to patients and give them the specific answers they are looking for in regard to COPD treatment. The program employs a dedicated call center “that is staffed by registered nurses who have been trained to answer questions about each product and reimbursement specialists prepared to address inquiries related to insurance coverage and co-pay assistance,” according to a company press release. In particular, Forest hopes that its new STRIDE program outreach can help patients who are currently prescribed Tudorza and Daliresp get the most out of the therapies. In an effort to improve efficacy, the program specifically targets, “instruction on the proper use of the Pressair inhaler with treatment education and useful tools to help increase compliance with both prescribed therapies.”
Gavin Corcoran, executive VP global medicines development, explained that, “The STRIDE patient support program is the first of its kind for Forest and reinforces our commitment to the COPD community. The important information and services provided through the STRIDE program help patients learn more about their prescribed COPD treatment and empower them to have more productive interactions with their healthcare professionals.”
Patients and their caregivers can access the STRIDE program by calling 1-855-STRIDE8 (787-4338) from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. More information about the STRIDE program and the opportunity to join can also be found at www.daliresp.com/startstride or www.tudorza.com/startstride.
While Forest noted in their press release that the STRIDE patient support program is not a substitute for the care of a qualified healthcare professional, and that the call center cannot diagnose or treat callers, the idea of the program is an innovative one, in that it demonstrates how the company is seek to reach the end users of their products, rather than simply relying solely on primary care providers.