A former executive of Amgen, Inc., in 2012, Anna Richo joined UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions related to severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. A member of the UCB executive committee, Anna Richo performs duties as executive vice president and general counsel for the company and oversees all aspects of legal and corporate compliance.
In April 2014, UCB released the results of its Policy for Optimal Epilepsy Management (POEM) study. The study included 249 United States veterans who used the health data sharing network PatientsLikeMe for the first time. During the study, the participants connected with other patients on the site and had access to condition-specific tracking tools and educational resources. At the end of the six-week period, the participants completed an epilepsy self-management scale (ESMS) and an epilepsy self-efficacy scale (ESES), which was compared to their evaluations taken prior to the start of the study. Of the individuals, approximately 37 percent completed the assessments and showed an improvement in managing their epilepsy. ESMS increased from 140 to 143 and ESES jumped 10 points.
The results of this study indicate that when epilepsy patients interact with one another, their conditions improve. Further, the study was conducted in a relatively short time frame, showing that patients do not have to spend years adapting to online technology to benefit from it.