E.V.I.dently April 2020

Message from NPC

NPC Members Respond to COVID-19

The scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has become very clear: we are facing a challenge like none of us have seen in our lifetime. National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) is proud of the commitment and efforts of our member companies as they fight COVID-19 by supporting innovative clinical research, ensuring continuous patient access to needed medications and providing resources to vulnerable communities globally. Visit our website to learn more about how our members are responding to the pandemic.

In Social Distancing, Finding Closeness in Community

In a video, NPC President and CEO Dan Leonard discusses social distancing and the importance of community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Leonard also reflects on how the biopharmaceutical community is pulling together during this time of crisis

NPC Now: A Look at Our Latest Work

NPC Fellow Presents Research on Step Therapy at Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy eLearning Days

Taruja Karmarkar, PhD, MHS, NPC/Duke-Margolis Health Policy Fellow, shared her research on step therapy criteria via AMCP’s online poster platform. When facing step therapy, a patient is often required to try a clinically recognized first-line therapy before approval of a more complex and expensive treatment prescribed by a physician. Led by Dr. Karmarkar, NPC researchers found that diverse stakeholders disagree on when it is appropriate to implement step therapy but agreed on how step therapy should be implemented. Her research is part of the AMCP eLearning Days - virtual days of education featuring the most pressing issues in managed care. View her poster on the AMCP website.

eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2020 Virtual Conference

NPC Chief Science Officer Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, moderated a panel, “Valuing innovation: From pandemic to me-too,” at the virtual eyeforpharma conference on April 16. He was joined by Chris Leibman, Senior Vice President of Value and Access at Biogen and NPC Board member, and Sarah Emond, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). They discussed how we incentivize innovation based on the problem we’re trying to solve, how we view incentives in a pandemic situation and whether the pre- and post- COVID-19 worlds look different in terms of the way we do value assessment. Read the summary of the discussion on NPC's blog and view the video recording of the panel (available on eyeforpharma’s website through May 15).

Other Research and Info

New National Alliance Report Encourages Inclusion of Employer-Relevant Elements in Value Assessment

The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions recently published a report that evaluates existing value frameworks and offers insights on the relationship between value assessment tools and the employer perspective. Using NPC’s analysis of value assessment frameworks as a basis to inform discussion, the Council examined seven existing value frameworks and developed a list of principal issues and concerns. Read more about the report in a blog by Lisabeth Buelt, consultant and former NPC research manager.

NPC Submits Comments to CMS on Implementation of Real-Time Benefit Tools 

NPC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 6, in response to its Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. NPC's comments focused on implementation of real-time benefit tools, changes to formulary tier and overall benefit design, and increasing the weight of the patient experience category of the Star Ratings.

ICYMI: Articles of Note

•    Mark Fendrick, MD; and Beth Shrosbree. BS. Coverage for Essential Care During COVID-19. May 2020, The American Journal of Managed Care 

•    Lanting Yang, MPH, et al. Real-World Direct Comparison of the Effectiveness and Safety of Apixaban, Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban, and Warfarin in Medicare Beneficiaries with Atrial Fibrillation. April 10, 2020, The American Journal of Cardiology 

•    Matthew Gavidia and Mary Caffrey. V-BID X for Employers: A Framework Designed to Promote Employee Access to High-Value Drugs, Services. April 2, 2020, The American Journal of Accountable Care 

•    Eric Faulkner, MPH, et al. Being Precise About Precision Medicine: What Should Value Frameworks Incorporate to Address Precision Medicine? A Report of The Personalized Precision Medicine Special Interest Group. April 1, 2020, Value in Health
•    Logan Trenaman, PhD, Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, Jeffrey S. Hoch, PhD. How Are Incremental Cost-Effectiveness, Contextual Considerations, and Other Benefits Viewed in Health Technology Assessment Recommendations in the United States? April 1, 2020, Value in Health
•    Deborah A. Zarin, William H. Crown, Barbara E. Bierer. Issues in the registration of database studies. Jan. 20, 2020, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology    

Events and Education

ISPOR 2020 Virtual Conference 

NPC experts will participate on several panel discussions during Virtual ISPOR 2020, an online meeting running from May 18-20, 2020. Jennifer Graff, PharmD, Vice President, Comparative Effectiveness Research will take part in a session on non-randomized real-world evidence, and Kimberly Westrich, MA, Vice President, Health Services Research will take part in sessions on shared decision making and patient-centered multi-criteria decision analysis. Registration is required to view the presentations. For further information, visit ISPOR's website.