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Practice Transformation

The how and why of precision medicine explored
A one-size-fits-all approach to prevention and treatment is becoming obsolete as precision medicine tailors the medication or other intervention to the individual patient. Precision medicine uses diagnostic testing for genetic, molecular and cellular characteristics that can help identify how a patient will react to certain treatments. It can also save time and money by targeting the best treatment for the individual patient. (Medical Daily)

Employers network to improve employee health
About 60 employee benefits leaders from big companies like Boeing, Target and Walmart meet twice a year to share solutions and vet technology vendors for products that support employee health. The meetings aren’t open to health plans and benefits consultants. The Employer Health Innovation Roundtable is one of several networking groups that give those who pay for care more control of a health system that’s not responsive to problems of waste, ineffectiveness and cost. (Employee Benefits Advisor)


Evidence & Innovation

Gene “silencing” used to reverse disease
A new class of medicine holds the promise of reversing some progressive diseases. Gene “silencing” can change the messenger RNA that carries instructions to our genetic code in disease processes like porphyria and Huntington’s disease. It’s not exactly the same as gene therapy, which permanently changes the genetic structure of DNA. Gene silencing, in contrast, requires the patient to keep taking the treatment to keep the disease at bay. (BBC)

Rx spell check: A solution to killing someone with a typo
Software that uses machine learning is being deployed to prevent errors made when prescribers accidentally select the wrong drug from lists in EHR systems. MedAware was launched by Dr. Gidi Stein, a Tel Aviv-based doctor, who read about a 9-year-old boy who died when a doctor accidentally ordered Sintrom (a blood thinner) instead of Singulair (an asthma medication) from an alphabetized list of medications. In February, a Tennessee nurse was changed with homicide for a similar error.(From the GrapevineTennessean)


Policy Solutions

Azar to employers: End backdoor rebates
HHS Secretary Alex Azar told employers they need to do their part to drive change in U.S. health care. That starts with embracing the administration’s focus on transparency. Addressing employers at the National Business Group on Health’s meeting April 11, Azar said health care costs should be “accessible, transparent and, to the extent possible, predictable.” Azar urged employers to replace prescription drug rebate schemes with up-front discounts. He also encouraged employers to take the reins of control back from health plans and pharmacy benefit managers by contracting directly with providers with highly-rated outcomes and by steering employees to them whenever possible. (SHRM)


In a post-rebate world, outcomes will influence value
Congress held pharmaceutical executives’ feet to the fire again this month about rebates and whether they lower or raise the price of drugs. With pending legislation and regulatory changes aimed at eliminating drug rebates, the focus should shift to differentiating medications based on factors such as better clinical outcomes and patient preferences. Consultant Deloitte also suggests offering better patient support, as well as more precise targeting to populations that would get the most benefit from a therapy. (Deloitte Perspectives)


Free webinar, April 30: The $528 Billion Opportunity
The GTMRx Institute Learning Network will host two of the researchers who identified the $528 billion opportunity to reduce the overall cost of health care. Lead study author Jonathan Watanabe, Pharm.D., MS, Ph.D., BCGP and co-author Dr. Terry McInnis will explore the direct costs of non-optimized medication use that adds up to a $528 billion every year, and discuss why they believe comprehensive medication management integration offers a viable, cost-effective, scalable solution. Pro tip: Co-author Jan Hirsch, Ph.D., will join Dr. McInnis for a second free webinar May 14, “Acting on the $528B Opportunity,” which will explore training to advance CMM. Register for the free webinars.


Video: A caregiver speaks about getting the medications right
This 3-minute video from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy illustrates why we must enable comprehensive medication management in our health system—today. Watch, share and be a catalyst for change to get the medications right as a GTMRx Institute Signing Member (free).

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