Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) and Premier Inc (NASDAQ:PINC) have expanded their partnership on preventative and chronic disease care and included new initiatives aimed at reducing Clostridium difficile infection (C. diff). Merck is also known as MSD outside Canada and the United States.
Offering support and education to C.diff patients
One of the areas that the two companies will be partnering on is the development and testing of a platform based on a number of software that will be used offer consultation, surveillance, education and support to patients with Clostridium difficile infection. These services will be accessed at participating Premier member health systems. The goal behind the initiative is to raise aware among patients on how to reduce recurrence, increase patient access to treatment services and help patients determine if they are at the risk of having a recurrence.
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), C. diff infection which is known for causing life-threatening diarrhea has become a leading microbial cause of infections in the U.S. The report attributes this trend to patients contact with bacteria or prolonged use of antibiotics. Around half a million people are affected by this infection and its treatment rakes excess of $4.8 billion every year. Patients using antibiotics have seven to ten chances of contracting the infection during the treatment period as well as the month that follows after completing the treatment. Although the infection can be treated, research says that one is every five patients always experience a recurrence.
Building on pre-existing relationship
In a statement, Sam Bozzette, the Vice President and Chief Scientist of Premier Applied Sciences®, Premier’s Retrospective and Interventional Research Division said that the new collaboration is a natural expansion of the partnership that the two companies have been having over the years. He added that by increasing patient and clinician knowledge of the dreaded disease, as well as developing a software-based platform to manage its recurrence, there is a big potential of making real difference to address the problem.
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On his part, Merck Associate Vice President, Hospital/Specialty Marketing Raquel Tapia said the combination of Merck’s therapeutic area expertise and the Premier’s technical capabilities have been very important in developing solutions that help address difficult healthcare problems.