ORLANDO, Fla. – The American Heart Association says 24 percent of heart attack patients don’t fill their prescriptions within a week after discharge, and 34 percent of heart attack patients with multiple prescriptions stop taking at least one within the first month. Now, a medical company is teaming with one of the country’s busiest hospitals to test an innovative solution.
Kimby Jagnandan, 42, is a heart attack survivor. Every day, she does what she can to help her heart.
“I now have you know a device that captures my steps. So I’m making sure that I watch to see how many steps I’m getting in daily,” Jagnandan told Ivanhoe.
Kimby also tries to eat right and follow her doctor’s orders, which she admits is not easy.
Jagnandan commented, “I’m on a lot of medicine, a lot, pretty much every cardiac medication that you can be on.”
“The average number of medications that somebody with cardiovascular disease takes is going to be more than four and it can be as many as 20,” Duane Davis, MD, a Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon at Cardiovascular Institute at Florida Hospital explained.
Dr. Davis says getting patients to take all of the heart medication they need is a big problem.
Dr. Davis continued, “They can be life-saving medicines and not taking them can result in the loss of life.”
So Florida Hospital’s Alliance for Innovation Development is pairing with the medical company, Panaceutics to test a solution. Right now Panaceutics produces nutritional supplements in portable packets; the idea is to have patients take multiple heart medications compounded in a single, edible dose.
“This is a strategy to actually simplify. To get all the medicines that are necessary into something that actually isn’t bad to take. It actually may taste good,” said Dr. Davis.
“I went on vacation this summer, and I think I spent more time packing and organizing my medication for the vacation than I did my suitcase,” Jagnandan explained.
For some patients, a solution that someday soon might make a difference.
Dr. Davis says he expects Florida hospital will begin testing the edible gel in the next few months.