Irish firm Allergan has entered a multi-year research collaboration with US-based Humana to develop new ways to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and carers.

The deal is designed to examine major issues and secure a more comprehensive understanding of opportunities for improvement in care delivery.

As part of the deal, the companies will initially focus on variety of diseases, patient/carer relationships, and interventional research.

Allergan chief medical officer Gavin Corcoran said: "In today’s changing health care environment, it is important for various stakeholders in the healthcare system to come together to gain in-depth understanding of unmet needs and find solutions to improve patient outcomes.

"Caregivers are vulnerable to health consequences as a result of the chronic stressors associated with caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease."

"This partnership aligns with our goal of leveraging real world data to build evidence and conduct comparative effectiveness research in collaboration with health care systems to better understand unmet needs, the natural history of disease, and interventions that improve both outcomes and the quality of care delivered to patients."

The collaboration will help improve health of patients with central nervous system (CNS) conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as glaucoma and other eye conditions.

Humana Pharmacy Solutions president William Fleming said: "The partnership with Allergan reflects Humana’s commitment to improving health outcomes while reducing costs.

"Humana is always looking to collaborate where we see an opportunity to make it easier for people to engage the healthcare system and looks forward to focusing on these initiatives with Allergan."

Under the patient/carer relationship, a clearer picture of the attributes associated with care burden will be obtained from the carer’s perspective, as well as demonstrating how self-reported carer burden relates to healthcare-related utilisation and costs.

In the interventional research, a research based on interventional practices and predictive analytics will be conduct, with a focus on treatment adherence, to ensure patients obtain the right medications when required.

The first project of the deal focuses on Alzheimer’s patients’ carer burden.

Unlike many terminal illnesses, providing care for Alzheimer’s disease may be much longer given that patients with the condition can live for many years.

Humana chief medical officer Roy Beveridge said: "Caregivers are vulnerable to health consequences as a result of the chronic stressors associated with caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease.

"By working together, Humana and Allergan can help close a gap in care by going beyond the patient and focus on how to better understand and support careAlzheimer’s diseasers."

Carer burden for AD tends to increase with the progression of disease and corresponding increase in severity.