E.V.I.dently May 2019

Message from NPC

The Long-term Health Benefits of Biopharmaceuticals

During the last few months, we’ve seen an intense focus on the cost of medicines, including a Senate hearing featuring seven biopharmaceutical executives. But the conversations about medicines, like the Senate hearing, have been narrowly focused on list and net prices or on specific medicines.

In his latest column for Chain Drug Review, National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Leonard highlights the importance of taking a holistic view of health care spending, rather than zeroing in on a single aspect of the health care system. The implications, he notes, are that “focusing only on the costs of a few innovative treatments doesn’t enable us to take a step back and see the bigger picture,” and that could have significant implications for health policy decisions.

>> Read Mr. Leonard’s column in Chain Drug Review to learn more.

NPC Now: A Look at Our Latest Work

Public Input Is a Key Way to Improve Value Assessment Process

Value assessment is a young and emerging field in the United States, and several organizations have developed value assessment frameworks as a way to measure the value of health care treatments. Seeking feedback from the public is an important way to pause and reflect on what’s working well, what isn’t and how can we improve on those value assessment processes. Regularly reviewing value assessment processes and improving them based on public feedback can be a positive practice, particularly when they help bring assessments in line with NPC’s Guiding Practices on Patient-centered Value Assessment, as discussed in a post on NPC’s blog.

Six Ways to Make Real-World Evidence Methods More Transparent

Acceptance of studies based on “real-world data” remains limited, partly because the research methods used to generate usable evidence are not always transparent. That perception could change thanks to new efforts by NPC and AcademyHealth aimed at improving the credibility and reliability of real-world evidence. Read the six recommendations from NPC and AcademyHealth on NPC’s website.

Research and Info You Need to Know

CMS Finalizes Changes to Medicare Part D’s Protected Classes and Medicare Advantage Step Therapy Protocol

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule, Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses, that preserves the existing six “protected classes” of medications that must be covered by Medicare Part D. However, CMS also allowed the use of prior authorization and step therapy for new medication starts, under both Parts D and B, which could delay patient access to medications specifically suited for their treatment needs. NPC, along with many other patient groups and organizations, had raised concerns about CMS’ proposed changes in public comments.

ICYMI: Articles of Note

Events and Education

Webinar: What’s in a Number? It Matters in Health Policy Conversations

As health care stakeholders engage in public dialogue on health care spending, there is a need for sound data to inform the discussions — however, estimates of spending on prescription medication vary widely, from a low of 10% to a high of nearly 30%. Join NPC and AcademyHealth for an interactive webinar on June 18 at 2 p.m. ET to understand the underlying differences in these estimates and learn how to address them to set the stage for a collaborative and evidence-based policy discussion. Details and the registration link are available on AcademyHealth's website.

National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions Leadership Summits

At the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions Leadership Summits on June 24-26, co-sponsored by NPC, participants will do a deep dive on key issues including health and wellbeing, payment and delivery reform, and managing pharmacy benefits. Learn more and register now on the National Alliance website.