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NEW SPECIALTY PHARMACY SERVICE LAUNCHED TO ADDRESS MEDICATION COMPLIANCE PROBLEMS; ADDED SERVICES BENEFIT NEUROLOGY PATIENTS

 NEW SPECIALTY PHARMACY SERVICE LAUNCHED TO ADDRESS MEDICATION
 COMPLIANCE PROBLEMS; ADDED SERVICES BENEFIT NEUROLOGY PATIENTS
 SAN DIEGO, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Athena Neurosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: ATHN) announced today its establishment of the Athena (TM) RX Home Pharmacy service, designed to help solve a widespread public health problem that is especially troublesome to patients with neurological disorders: poor medication compliance.
 It is estimated that nearly half of the 1.5 billion prescriptions written each year are taken incorrectly; either the patient does not have the prescription filled or refilled or does not take the medication as directed. The Food and Drug Administration has recently called for better patient education by pharmacists and physicians to improve patient compliance with prescription medication. (A)
 Drawing on its expertise in neurological research and development, Athena aims to promote compliance among neurology patients through improved communications and services that make it easier to receive information and medication. "We recognize that neurological disorders can make it difficult for patients to follow their prescribed medication regimen. Athena's services will address problems associated with neurological disorders, including the lack of mobility, need for privacy, better drug information, and the cost of medicine," said Michael Coffee, Athena's vice president of sales and marketing.
 Independence and Convenience
 Movement disorders are common among these patients, and difficulty in getting to the pharmacy makes many dependent on family or friends to obtain medications. Athena Rx Home Pharmacy service provides free express delivery of medications in unmarked, tamper-resistant packaging to a patient's home.
 Control of neurological conditions requires patients to take their medication every day, often for a lifetime. Many are on several medications and must keep these medicines in regular supply, particularly because prescriptions may run out at different times. Athena helps patients by providing reminder notices for refills and for physician office visits.
 Bridging the Communication Gap
 To help patients comply with their regimens and take medication for optimal treatment, the company supplies written information about the medications, the possible side effects, food and drug interactions and any special instructions. The pharmacy also monitors the patient's medications for any potential adverse drug interactions and notifies the patient and physician about potential problems.
 Athena responds to a sensitive communication need of neurology patients by providing toll-free telephone access. Telephone consultation gives neurology patients privacy and confidentiality, issues of importance to those who may be embarrassed about their condition and inhibited from seeking information about proper use of medication. Athena pharmacists are available for consultation between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, at 800-5-ATHENA (800-528-4362).
 "We believe that better communication and support services to help people with neurological disorders follow a prescription regimen will help avoid serious problems that can result from missed doses and improper medication use," said Richard Lukasko, director of Athena's pharmacy.
 Costs for Athena's prescription drugs are competitive with or less than those offered at a local drug store, and its services are free.
 Athena Neurosciences, Inc., was founded in 1986 to discover, develop and market products to be used primarily by neurologists for the treatment and diagnosis of neurological diseases and disorders. Athena's principal research efforts are directed toward the discovery of products to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's Disease and for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, stroke and head injury. The company plans to initiate clinical trials in 1992 for a product to treat a form of dystonia and has promising products in clinical stages of development for the treatment of epilepsy and the spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.
 (A) New England Journal of Medicine, Dec. 5, 1991, pp. 1650-1652.
 -0- 5/11/92
 /CONTACT: Lisa Dodge of Athena Neursciences, Inc., 415-877-7672, or Devra Lesser of GTFH Public Relations, 212-886-3114, for Athena Neurosciences/
 (ATHN) CO: Athena Neurosciences Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT


TQ-AH -- NY002 -- 8496 05/11/92 10:01 EDT
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Date:May 11, 1992
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