E.V.I.dently March 2019

Message from NPC

NPC in Specialty Pharmacy Times: International Drug Pricing Index Model Could Restrict Innovation, Access

National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Leonard says that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposal to tie American drug prices to an international pricing index undermines efforts to prioritize value and improve patient outcomes over utilization and sickness.

In his latest column for Specialty Pharmacy Times, Mr. Leonard explains the methodological limitations of CMS’s proposal and discusses promising alternatives to the international pricing index model that warrant further exploration.

NPC Now: A Look at Our Latest Work

NPC Explores the Limitations of Data in Health Affairs Blog Post on Drug Pricing Analysis

In response to a recent Health Affairs article that concluded the rising prices of existing drugs are the primary driver of drug spending, NPC Chief Science Officer Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, explored the consequences of the study’s narrow analysis of drug list price increases instead of evaluating the medicines’ net prices over time. The March 13 Health Affairs Blog article, "Rx Drug Costs: List Prices Versus Net Prices and the Importance of Staying Within the Data," explains that when looking more closely at our spending — whether it’s on prescription medicines or other aspects of health care — we need to use the data that address the questions we are asking.

NPC Offers Key Considerations on Reducing Low-value Care in Comments to Sen. Alexander

Low-value care is a pervasive problem, costing our health care system $340 billion annually. There’s a growing interest in tackling the issue, including Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Lamar Alexander’s request for input and recommendations from health care stakeholders on how to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending. NPC submitted comments in response, pointing out that there is no singular solution that will solve the low-value care problem — instead, a holistic approach to addressing health care spending is needed. For more on efforts to reduce low-value care, read the recent blog post addressing the topic on Going Below The Surface.

Inaugural Health Affairs Council on Health Care Spending and Value Meeting Kickstarts Broader National Discussion

At the inaugural meeting of the Health Affairs Council on Health Care Spending and Value, a diverse group of 22 health care leaders came together to kickstart “a national discussion about whether we should — and how we could — constrain what feels like runaway health care spending.” The Council, supported by NPC and Anthem, Inc., outlined its call to action and steps in finding the evidence-based answers needed to move this dialog forward in a Health Affairs Blog post.  

Webinar Archive Now Available: “Let’s Get Real: How Will the FDA Framework for Real-world Evidence Impact You?”

NPC’s Jan. 30 webinar, "Let’s Get Real: How Will the FDA Framework for Real-world Evidence Impact You?”, showcased the potential implications of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) framework for real-world evidence for patients, payers, manufacturers and other health care stakeholders. The webinar provided an overview of how the FDA currently uses real-world evidence (RWE) and how it may be used in the future, a deeper dive into research on RWE, and payer and industry perspectives on how they approach using RWE. The FDA recently reopened the Framework for a Real-World Evidence Program; Availability comment period until April 16. To learn more about the framework, view the recorded webinar in NPC's video archives, read NPC's comment letter to the FDA on its RWE framework and check out NPC’s online RWE resources.

How Can We Elevate the Patient Voice in Value-based Payment for Oncology?

A new study from NPC and Discern Health sheds light on progress in making value-based reimbursement mechanisms, like accountable care, patient-centered. The report, Improving Patient-reported Measures in Oncology, analyzes the landscape of available patient-reported measures and patient-reported performance measures in oncology, and offers recommendations for filling gaps in measures and removing barriers to measure implementation in accountable care programs. To learn more, watch NPC’s webinar archive on “Amplifying the Patient Voice: Policy Solutions for Improving Patient-reported Measures in Oncology value-based Payment Programs” and read the summary on NPC’s website.

Research and Info You Need to Know

Access to Care: Development of a Medication Access Framework for Quality Measurement

Patients face barriers almost every step of the way in their efforts to gain access to the treatment or care that they need. A new framework, developed by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and supported by NPC, identified seven main areas patients encounter while seeking access to medications and the structural, financial and personal barriers patients face within each. Learn more about the common barriers identified and how advances in quality measurement can improve medication access in the report, and watch the webinar archive on the same topic further exploring the research.

Integrating Data for Better Care Management

To accelerate the ability of care management programs to use data to combat rising health care costs, while ensuring patient access to innovative treatments that can improve outcomes, NPC sponsored and participated in a two-day Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Partnership Forum, “Managing Total Cost of Care Through Medical and Pharmacy Data Integration.” Read more about discussions held at the Forum on NPC's blog

ICYMI: Articles of Note

Events and Education

NPC @ National Quality Forum Annual Conference

Join NPC at the National Quality Forum’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on March 24-26. The event, which is co-sponsored by NPC, will focus on the latest topics in health care quality and policy. Be sure to stop by NPC’s display, where two of NPC’s recent papers, Development of a Medication Access Framework for Quality Measurement and Improving Patient-reported Measures in Oncology, will be available.

NPC @ Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting 2019

The 2019 Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting will be held on March 25-28 in San Diego. NPC Vice President of Comparative Effectiveness Research Jennifer Graff, PharmD, will address “Patient-Reported Outcomes and Patient Preferences: Considerations for Coverage Policy Decisions?” on March 26 at 4:30 p.m. In addition, two posters on patient access to medication based on research co-authored by NPC will be presented on March 27 at 11:30 a.m. Learn more and register now.

NPC @ Health Datapalooza 2019

NPC is co-sponsoring AcademyHealth’s Health Datapalooza conference on March 27-28 in Washington, D.C. Registration is open now for in-person and online attendance.

NPC @ eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2019

Join NPC at the eyeforpharma Philadelphia conference on April 16-17. Dr. Dubois will participate in a panel on “Affordability — The New Buzzword for Market Access” on Tuesday, April 16, at 4:45 p.m. Get the details on NPC’s website.

NPC @ 2019 Pharmacy Quality Alliance Annual Meeting

At the 2019 Pharmacy Quality Alliance Annual Meeting, Mr. Leonard will share insights on the complexities of “Engaging Healthcare Media Today” on May 16 at 1:30 p.m. NPC’s research with Discern Health on patient-reported measures in oncology care will also be presented at an 11:15 a.m. session on May 16. Learn more about NPC’s sessions and registration details on our website.