By Paul Tumarkin, Tech Launch Arizona | June 8, 2015
The newly announced partnership of UA startup SinfoníaRx and Walmart on medication management, which had an assist along the way from TLA, is described as “an ideal outcome.”
Now, two years later, worldwide retailer Walmart will implement the technology to improve patient outcomes in its pharmacies.
Walmart announced last week it will use SinfoníaRx’s proprietary software to proactively monitor prescription medications and identify potential problems within a patient’s regimen. As concerns are identified, pharmacists will work with patients and their prescribers to improve medication usage and reduce health care costs. The system monitors prescription use for approximately 300 health plans representing more than 6 million patients across the nation.
According to a 2013 study by the IMS Institute, medication misuse accounts for more than $200 billion in unnecessary health care expenses. The effort has the potential to improve the care of patients with chronic illness across the continuum of care.
“This is an ideal outcome,” said David Allen, vice president of Tech Launch Arizona, the UA office responsible for moving inventions emanating from University research from the lab to the marketplace.
TLA was established in late 2012 by UA President Ann Weaver Hart to transform UA research discoveries into intellectual property, leading to patents, licenses and commercial products. In 2014, the UA recorded 188 invention disclosures, realized $1.6 million in revenues from intellectual property and spun out 11 new companies.
“As a land-grant university, it is the responsibility of the UA to develop solutions for societal problems, one of which is the growing challenge of managing negative medication interactions,” Allen said. “The agreement between SinfoníaRx and Walmart is helping expand the impact of UA research, so we couldn’t be more delighted.”
J. Lyle Bootman, dean of the UA College of Pharmacy, said research conducted by the college “laid the foundation for understanding the extent of medication problems” in the U.S.
“One of our college’s lifelong goals has been to resolve medication problems, and we are proud that SinfoníaRx is operationalizing the solutions discovered here,” said Bootman, co-chair of the Institute of Medicine committee that released the highly publicized report “Preventing Medication Errors.”
SinfoníaRx is a health care company whose mission is to provide the highest-quality solutions for health plans, patients and caregivers. Originally established in 2006 at the UA, SinfoníaRx pioneered modern medication therapy management, or MTM, services. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinfonía HealthCare Corp.
“We are incredibly excited to launch this new program with Walmart,” said Kevin P. Boesen, founder and CEO of SinfoníaRx. “Managing complex, chronic illnesses is a real challenge. We are honored to work with Walmart to help patients live better lives.”
Walmart, the largest retailer in the U.S. by revenue, represents an enormous opportunity for SinfoníaRx. The chain serves more than 250 million customers each week in nearly 11,500 stores in 27 countries. In fiscal year 2015, the company reported sales of nearly $486 billion, and it employs more than 2 million worldwide.