Amazon to shutter Amazon Care
Say “goodbye” to Amazon Care. The virtual and in-home health service, initially created for Amazon employees will be gone by the end of 2022. Amazon Care currently has six corporate customers including Hilton, Silicon Labs and Amazon-owned Whole Foods. Workers were told the service was shutting down because those customers did not see the value in the service, the Washington Post reports. Modern Healthcare notes that the decision comes just weeks after the company said it would acquire primary-care provider One Medical for nearly $4 billion. (Washington Post; Modern Healthcare)
PBMs concern “even free-marketeers”
Employers are “fighting back against the health care industry’s plunder of Main Street,” and PBMs are at the top of the list, writes Dr. Katy Talento, CEO of All Better Health and former Trump advisor. Even “free-marketeers” are worried. Large companies, even with their negotiating leverage, are “being taken to the cleaners,” indicating “a market distortion worthy of policy makers’ attention.” Most companies rely on their broker to recommend a PBM, “not realizing that PBMs are wholly entangled with insurance companies, which are equally entangled with brokerage houses, creating little incentive to slow down the gravy train.” (American Thinker)
*Read more about GTMRx’s work with the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) relating to PBM transparency – James Gelfand, JD, President of ERIC “The ERIC/GTMRx partnership: Translating ideas into policy that gets the medications right.” here.
Integrate pharmacists into patient care journey
More than ever, physicians are pushing for a transition to care models that incentivize fewer, more effective treatments. This kind of innovative thinking should inform the way we handle multiple-drug regimens, Tori Erxleben-Rush, PharmD writes in a Pharmacy Times article. “When pharmacists are involved in the care process, they can address common barriers to medication use, such as polypharmacy, ineffective medication, high costs, health and lifestyle considerations, and social needs. Integrated care that leverages the benefits that the pharmacist can offer is key to ensuring person-centric care.” (Pharmacy Times)
Evidence & Innovation
AON: Employer health care costs to increase 6.5%
Employers that pay for employee health coverage will face a 6.5% increase in 2023, according to a report from Aon. That’s more than twice the 3% increase in 2022, but well below the 9.1% increase in the Consumer Price Index. One approach for employers is to address chronic conditions, which also have implications for absence, productivity and disability, Aon’s Farheen Dam said in a statement. “By focusing on chronic conditions, not only are we improving the health and happiness of employees, but we’re helping to improve the way they live and work.” (MedCity News; AON announcement)
Higher prices, less transparency from drugmakers
Drugmakers are launching new medicines at record-high prices this year, according to a Reuters analysis. At the same time, some are disclosing less information about the pricing of those treatments: Reuters requested price data from all 15 of the companies that launched new drugs this year. Six of the manufacturers either did not respond to a request for price details or initially provided only partial information. The median annual price of 13 novel drugs approved for chronic conditions by the FDA so through mid-July 2022 is $257,000. In 2021, that figure was $180,000. (Reuters)
Unvetted and potentially fake and dangerous drugs
As states tighten or remove access to abortion, a “murky online market” for abortion pills is thriving, the Wall Street Journal reports. Dozens of websites state they ship abortion drugs anywhere in the US without a prescription, which violates FDA rules. Many health experts expressed concerns about websites potentially selling bogus drugs or not providing adequate information and medical support. “You don’t know what you’re getting,” warns Al Carter, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. (The Wall Street Journal)
In Case You Missed It!
New Report Available! Optimizing Medication Use for Accountable Care Success
A value-based care resource derived from an event sponsored by the GTMRx Institute & the Institute for Advancing Health Value
This report covers:
- Comprehensive medication management (CMM) in ACOs/ enhancing value
- The reported effects of CMM and pharmacy integration
- The key elements of success for effective medication therapy management programs
- Key issues impacting CMM success in ACOs, such as:
- Population health
- Social determinants of health
- Using data to transform care
- Change management/philosophy of practice
- Network expansion and clinical integration
- Accountability and relationship management
Read the report here.
Recording now available! Integrating Pharmacists into Advanced Primary Care: A Better Way to Manage Medication
GTMRx’s Katherine Capps hosted Mini Summit 31: Integrating Pharmacists into Advanced Primary Care: A Better Way to Manage Medication with Julie Ceno-England, M.D. (OneOme), Mitchell Kaminski (Jefferson College), Michael Hochman (SCAN), and Steven Chen (USC School of Pharmacy).
This presentation was part of the National Primary Care Transformation Summit July 25-29, 2022. The event featured in-depth conversations and discussions with leaders from CMS/CMMI, VillageMD, Aetna/CVS, Humana, United/Optum, Boeing, Google, Walgreens and others involved in primary care transformation.
GTMRx Workgroup Updates
On August 9, the GTMRx Payment and Policy Solutions Workgroup had a presentation from GTMRx Physician Executive Advisor Michael Barr, MD, MBA, MACP, FRCP, President & Founder, MEDIS? about approach the medical community with value-driving services like CMM? in terms of team-based language.
On August 4, the GTMRx Employer Advisory Group heard from two speakers. GTMRx advocacy partner James Gelfand, JD, President, Public Affairs, ERIC (ERISA Industry Committee) updated the group on the status of PBM transparency and ficiduary advocacy efforts, as well as discussing the anticipated actions which need to be taken by coalitions/employers after the August recess. The group also heard from GTMRx executive physician advisor Michael Barr, MD, MBA, MACP, FRCP, President & Founder, MEDIS, about what needs to be in place to use ‘gold-carding” or waving prior authorizations as part of an advanced medication accountability “buy right” strategy.
Join us to be part of meaningful change
Irma, like many others, struggles as a result of our current trial-and-error approach to medication. That is why we advocate for a new, comprehensive approach to medication use and prescribing. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization, the GTMRx Institute and Foundation relies on funding from our supporting members. We ask that you consider becoming a Supporting Signing Member so we can continue to provide relevant, timely resources to get the medications right!
If you’re interested in supporting the Institute or Foundation at a higher level, please contact us. Your dollars will bring about meaningful change for people like Irma.
AmazonSmile is an easy way for 0.5% of your qualified purchases go to the GTMRx Foundation at no cost to you. And signing up is simple—go to smile.amazon.com and select “Get the Medications Right Foundation” as your charity of choice. If you prefer to directly donate instead, you can do so here.
Adding the foundation on AmazonSmile will help us continue to provide no cost educational webinars, issue briefs, weekly news briefs and promote the need for transformation of our current system of medication use through social media campaigns.
The GTMRx Institute is supported by our Founding Funders, Executive Members and Strategic Partners.