E.V.I.dently May 2020

Message from NPC

Will the Pandemic Provide the Push for Positive Change?

In his latest column in Chain Drug Review, National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) President and CEO Dan Leonard considers the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our health care system, as well as whether we’ll see continued innovation in how we access, administer and pay for health care post-pandemic. In his commentary, Mr. Leonard points to constructive adaptations being made within the health sector to reduce the burdens on patient and improve care, like the expanded use of telehealth to help bridge gaps in access and waiving co-pays for care related to COVID-19. Read about his recommendations on Chain Drug Review’s website.

NPC Now: A Look at Our Latest Work

It's Time to Talk COVID-19 Treatment Prices

COVID-19 has changed our society – people are suffering, world economies have turned upside down and our life as we know it has changed forever. The treatment for COVID-19, when found, will bring a lot of value to society – but what price are we prepared to pay for this value? In a new article in the Health Affairs Blog, NPC Chief Science Officer Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, addresses this question and lays out a roadmap to help us find the answers. His article also offers a staunch counterpoint to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s premature report that lacked stakeholder input on how to price remdesivir – an assessment that did not consider return to work as a benefit to society and the economy. Read the full article on the Health Affairs Blog.

Experts Advise Including Productivity in Value Assessment Frameworks, NPC Researchers Assessed If It Makes a Difference

A study by NPC researchers published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy found that when productivity is not included in value assessment frameworks, the value of a health intervention can often be underestimated. While the value estimates of pharmaceutical interventions may change by up to 80%, payer coverage decisions could change up to 10% of the time based on the value threshold referenced by payers. Read more about this research and watch a video by lead author Taruja Karmarkar, PhD, MHS, NPC/Duke-Margolis Health Policy Fellow.

Other Research and Info

What Health Spending Issues Will We Need to Address Post-Pandemic?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our Going Below The Surface (GBTS) Forum partners are on the front lines of health care, working to treat patients and share accurate information with their constituencies while social distancing with their families. They’ve seen firsthand how the current environment has exacerbated existing problems with our health care system, created new challenges, and even brought to light areas that are working. Given their experiences, we asked our GBTS partners about the health spending issues we’ll need to address during the next few months, once states begin allowing more businesses to open and relaxing social distancing measures. Read their responses on the GBTS website.

Video: Valuing Innovation and Productivity in the Current and Post-Pandemic World

Workforce productivity will carry more weight in value assessment frameworks now that we’ve seen how social distancing and working from home affect productivity in ways that we’ve never understood before the COVID-19 pandemic. In a video, Dr. Dubois expects there will be a “new normal” in how we evaluate productivity and how we view the value of innovation.

ICYMI: Articles of Note

• Chambers JD, et al. Coverage for Biosimilars vs Reference Products Among US Commercial Health Plans. May 19, 2020, JAMA

• Turner RM, et al. Agreement Was Moderate Between Data-Based and Opinion-Based Assessments of Biases Affecting Randomized Trials Within Meta-Analyses. May 13, 2020, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology

• Young PJ, et al. When Should Clinicians Act on Non–Statistically Significant Results From Clinical Trials? May 8, 2020, JAMA

Events and Education

Webinar: Medication Optimization in Accountable Care Organizations

The Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC) will host a webinar on June 17 at 2 pm to discuss resources (which include a new case study and competency orientation guide) about how value-minded organizations are integrating strategies to address medication use to lower costs and improve patient care. Optimal use of medication is increasingly seen as a crucial organizational competency for health systems, especially as organizations commit to contracts requiring accountability for population costs and quality. NPC and Managed Health Care Associates are sponsors of the ACLC Committee and its work. NPC Vice President of Health Services Research Kimberly Westrich will provide remarks during the webinar. Registration for the webinar is available on the ACLC website.