E.V.I.dently August 2020

Message from NPC

Departure of President and CEO Dan Leonard

After more than 12 years of service, Dan Leonard will be stepping down as NPC’s president and CEO, effective September 4. Mr. Leonard will be joining the Association for Accessible Medicines as its president and CEO. The NPC Board of Directors will announce an interim president and CEO in the coming days. “Under his leadership, NPC became a leading voice explaining how medicines bring value to our health system and society. Dan increased its membership, expanded its staff, and strengthened its reputation for delivering research-driven insight into key health policy questions,” said Blasine Penkowski, Chief Strategic Customer Officer, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, and NPC Board Chair. Read the full press release on NPC's website.

NPC Now: A Look at Our Latest Work

Ensuring Care for Vulnerable Populations

In his latest column in Chain Drug Review, Mr. Leonard discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the intractability of the barriers that hamper access to health care for many people, especially those living in vulnerable populations. Because of this, more Americans are likely to enroll in Medicaid, which he believes can help to ensure the care needed in these vulnerable communities. Read more about his column on the NPC website.

Q&A with IVI's Jennifer Bright on Value Assessment and Transparency

In an interview with NPC, Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI) Executive Director Jennifer Bright discusses how her organization has been advancing value assessment practice by convening stakeholders to build consensus, identify priorities for research and methods improvement, and advance efforts to incorporate patient perspectives in value assessments. She also explains why IVI invests in open-source model development. Visit NPC’s website for the full interview.

Step Therapy Q&A with AARDA

NPC sat down with Randy Rutta, President and CEO of the American Autoimmune Related Disorder Association (AARDA), to talk about step therapy and opportunities for patient-centered reforms. Mr. Rutta discussed how step therapy can be an issue for patients with chronic conditions, and the challenges patients face in navigating their health benefits and accessing the medicines they need. Read the full interview with Mr. Rutta on NPC’s website.

Roadmap for Addressing Low-value Care

The AMGA (American Medical Group Association) and the Going Below The Surface (GBTS) Forum hosted a webinar to highlight a step-by-step guide that can help organizations to reduce low-value care spending. Low-value or unnecessary health care is a pervasive problem in the United States, wasting as much as $340 billion each year in treatments and services that don't offer real value for patients. The event brought together experts from AMGA, NPC, HealthPartners and Intermountain Medical Group. Visit the GBTS website for a summary and video clips from the webinar.

It’s Time to Talk About COVID-19 Prices: Webinar Recap

A summary blog with video clips from the robust discussion about the societal value and pricing of potential COVID-19 treatments and incentives for current and post-pandemic medical innovation is available on the NPC website. Experts are concerned that low prices could curb future innovation in medical treatments and drug development. Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, NPC’s Chief Science Officer, moderated the discussion with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Peter Bach, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s Sarah Emond, Northwestern University’s Craig Garthwaite and Tufts University’s Peter Neumann.

Other Research and Info

NPC Comments on URAC PBM Revisions

In comments submitted to the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC), NPC commended the commission’s revised Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Accreditation Standards and provided recommendations focusing on evidence, transparency and evaluation. NPC also stated appreciation for URAC’s revisions of the accreditation standards, its focus on evidence-based policies, clear channels of communications and continued performance measurement to ensure high quality care. URAC is an independent accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. Read the full comments on NPC’s website.

Consolidation in the Time of COVID

Health care market consolidation, which will likely accelerate post-COVID-19, is often cited as a factor in rising prices and increased growth in overall spending. A blog in the August issue of Health Affairs, written by its Council on Health Care Spending and Value, looks at the impact that market consolidation is likely to have on spending growth. The Council’s conclusion includes a call for better efforts to control prices after consolidation happens. Dr. Dubois takes a closer look at the implications raised by the Council, of which he is a member, in his blog on LinkedIn.

ICYMI: Articles of Note

  • Howlader, N, et al. The Effect of Advances in Lung-Cancer Treatment on Population Mortality. August 13, 2020, New England Journal of Medicine
  • Pearson, E, Frakt, A, Health Care Cost Growth Benchmarks in 5 States. August 11, 2020, JAMA

Events and Education

HC21 Health and Productivity Forum

NPC Vice President for Health Services Research Kimberly Westrich will speak on September 3 at 3:15 pm ET at the HealthCare 21 Business Coalition’s 23rd Annual Health and Productivity Forum. Ms. Westrich’s presentation is titled, “Better Informed: How to Use Rx Value Assessments.” The theme of the forum is “The Endgame - Taking Action! Addressing Waste & Affordability.” It will take place over two days online and will feature a variety of speakers, including leaders and researchers from both health care and pharmaceutical. Register for the event on the HC21 website.