PHAR, LLC, in collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc, conducted a study to evaluate how antipsychotic medication half-life affects the risk of psychiatric hospital admission and emergency department (ED) visits for patients with schizophrenia. The study found that patients taking medication with a longer half-life had fewer comorbid mental health conditions, took fewer psychiatric medications, and had a lower risk of hospital admission and ED visits for mental disorders. The full study can be found in the January 2012 edition of the Journal of Medical Economics.

The literature on chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) lacks information on demographic characteristics and comorbidities. To fill this gap, investigators at PHAR, LLC initiated an analysis to better define the insured population. By conducting a cross-sectional analysis of insurance claims, investigators found that although antihistamines were the most common treatment for CIU, physicians also frequently prescribed oral corticosteroids. The study was conducted in partnership with Genentech, Inc. as well as investigators at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and NOVA Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. View the abstract at the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website.

Using a retrospective cohort analysis, investigators at PHAR, LLC and Genentech, Inc. examined patterns of omalizumab use in the first 5 years after the drug’s approval. The study found that omalizumab is most often used with appropriate concomitant medications. In addition, most omalizumab prescriptions come from specialist physicians. These findings were published in the December 2011 edition of the Journal of Asthma.

Investigators at PHAR, LLC and Genentech, Inc. conducted research that was presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting. Researchers found that the number of chronic conditions and respiratory comorbidities predicted adherence and persistence to omalizumab therapy.

Cost-effectiveness techniques can provide valuable insight into breast cancer treatment. A recent PHAR, LLC study assessed the impact on health outcomes and healthcare expenditures of adopting a 21-gene assay for women with early-stage, minimally node-positive, estrogen receptor-positive HER2-negative breast cancer. The study found that the use of this 21-gene assay was associated with improved outcomes for these breast cancer patients, with no additional cost. To see the publication in its entirety, visit The American Journal of Managed Care website.

Four posters presenting research conducted by PHAR, LLC in collaboration with Eisai Inc. were featured at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer 2011 International Symposium in Athens, Greece. Investigators examined the risks of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) following the use of several chemotherapy regimens and the costs associated with CINV.

PHAR investigators used nine health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures to study how HRQoL varies by body mass index category among gender and racial subgroups. The research found that a lower HRQoL score was associated with being obese or overweight rather than with having a normal body mass index. The associations were driven primarily by physical health. The degree of the associations varied by the index used. PHAR, LLC investigators collaborated with the RAND Corporation, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, UCLA School of Public Health, Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region, and Health Utilities Inc. For more detailed results, visit the Quality of Life Research website.

Using a retrospective cohort analysis, PHAR, LLC investigators collaborated with researchers at the University of Michigan and Genentech, Inc. to study adherence to Pulmozyme® in patients with cystic fibrosis. The findings were presented at the 34th European Cystic Fibrosis Society Conference.

Investigators at PHAR, LLC evaluated the economic impact of alvimopan in clinical practice. They found that, along with other initiatives to improve quality and reduce costs of surgical care, alvimopan may be a good choice for use in the perioperative management of patients who undergo segmental bowel resection. This research was published in the P & T journal.

A recent PHAR, LLC study evaluated treatment recommendations for patients with lymph node-positive, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Specifically, investigators sought to determine the effect of the 21-gene recurrence score (RS) assay results on physician decision making for such patients. The findings show that the RS result was used in determining treatment more often when patients had tumors less than 5 cm and one to three positive lymph nodes than when tumors were larger and patients had four or more positive nodes. Use of the RS also resulted in an overall reduction in recommendations for chemotherapy. This research was published in the Journal of Oncology Practice.