TV personality John O’Hurley, along with the National Lipid Association (NLA), Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company, announced the results of the USAGE survey, “Understanding Statin use in America and Gaps in Education.” USAGE is the largest known U.S. survey involving more than 10,100 statin users and is the first major survey to provide data on why patients stop taking their cholesterol statin medications, the most commonly prescribed medication to treat high cholesterol.
Seinfeld actor and Dancing with the Stars contestant, John O’Hurley has taken the role of public spokesperson for the USAGE campaign due to his own diagnosis of high-cholesterol. Upon becoming an active member of the USAGE team O’Hurley stated “millions of people, like me, are affected by high cholesterol, and it’s my hope that the USAGE survey gives them clearer direction on how to bring up concerns with their doctor.” Off the set he has dedicated himself to public health causes including his position as Public Relations Director of The Red Cross.
Currently doctors write more than 200 million prescriptions for statins each year however, patients actually adhering to and continuing statin treatment remains a major issue. Most commonly problems with statin adherence are associated with an increased risk of negative cardiovascular results, including heart disease and death. USAGE recorded 62% of responses listing side-effects as the reason for stopping treatment. An additional 17% stated cost was their reason for terminating statin treatment. A lack of treatment effectiveness was listed as third most important.
Research indicates that nearly 75% of new statin users stop therapy by the end of the first year. Among all those that did end their treatment, 34% admitted to not consulting their doctor first about ended statin treatment. Ironically enough, 81% of patients surveyed reported being satisfied with their doctor’s explanation of treatment.
The USAGE survey has been created in order to fill the gaps in statin treatment education. The USAGE website provides downloadable tools and resources, including patient directed discussion guides and a medication tracker. Also included is a presentation for healthcare providers to educate the medical community about the USAGE survey and its findings.
Kowa Company Ltd. is comprised of Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., Kowa Optimed and Kowa Health Care. Kowa Pharmaceudicals America is the entity directly involved with USAGE. Kowa Pharmaceutical specializes primarily in the area of cardiometabolic diseases. A privately held company, KPA focuses its attention towards the acquisition, licensing and marketing of pharmaceutical products.