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Practice Transformation

If scientists create a COVID-19 vaccine, will people take it? Maybe yes, maybe no. As few as half of Americans say they will get vaccinated, according to a recent poll. But to achieve “herd immunity,” 70% to 90% of the population need to be vaccinated. There are hardcore anti-vaxxers, who may remain unconvinced. But many more are on the fence, and public health officials need to reach them. Trust must be addressed, experts tell Biopharma Dive. It’s essential to take doubts seriously, says Dr. Arthur Caplan, professor of medical ethics at New York University’s medical school. “If you have a vaccine that 30% of the public doesn’t want to take, you’ve already lost.” (Biopharma Dive)
Telehealth claim lines among the privately insured increased 8,336% nationally, from 0.15% in April 2019 to 13.00% in April 2020, according to new data from the FAIR Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. The April to April increase almost doubled the 4,347% growth from March 2019 to March 2020. The rate of growth varied regionally, but in each region, the increase from April 2019 to April 2020 was greater than from March 2019 to March 2020. (AJMCUS News)

Evidence & Innovation

A new blood test for Alzheimer’s diagnoses the disease as accurately as costlier and more invasive methods, according to research published in JAMA Open Network and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. The test could make diagnosis simple, affordable and widely available—and it could be ready for clinical use in two to three years. In studies, the test determined whether people with dementia had Alzheimer’s instead of another condition. And it identified signs of the disease 20 years before memory and thinking problems were expected in people with a genetic mutation that causes Alzheimer’s. (JAMA Network OpenNew York Times)
Researchers may have developed an AI system that accurately identifies signs of prostate cancer in biopsies, according to a paper published in JAMA Oncology. “These promising results indicate that the deep learning system has the potential to support expert-level diagnoses and expand access to high-quality cancer care,” the researchers said in a prepared statement. It needs to be further validated in larger and more diverse patient groups, but “we believe that AI-based tools could help pathologists in their work, particularly in situations where specialist expertise is limited,” the researchers said in a prepared statement. (JAMA Oncologyannouncement)

Policy Solutions

Late last month, President Donald Trump signed four executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices. The orders are variations of drug pricing proposals the administration rolled out last year, The Washington Post reports. It further notes that the orders are unlikely to take effect anytime soon, because the power to implement drug pricing policy through executive order is limited—and because the pharma industry will challenge them in court. Becker’s Hospital Review offers a synopsis of the four executive orders. (Washington PostBecker’s Hospital Review)
Drug pricing legislation hasn’t gained much traction in Congress, but many state legislatures are advancing legislation in this area, according to analysis from Deloitte. Legislation to regulate pharmacy benefit managers is the most common. Other bills address transparency requirements for price increases, importation, value-based contracting and managing pharmacy benefit design. Among the predictions from Deloitte: “Value-based contract arrangements will likely increase, especially with advances in data analytics. While these arrangements are currently few, the focus on getting more value from therapies shows no signs of slowing.” (FiercePharmaDeloitte)

In Case You Missed It!

The Health IT to Support Optimized Medication Use Workgroup is creating use cases that outline opportunities for application of health IT in four functional areas identified as essential to advancing the delivery of comprehensive medication management services: Clinical Decision Support, Population Health and Risk Stratification, Patient Engagement and Care Coordination, and ECHO: Economic, Clinical, and Humanistic Outcomes.
GTMRx Blueprint for Change Available Now!
New report calls for medication management reform with guidance for how medications are managed. 
    On July 22, 2020, “The GTMRx Blueprint for Change,” a robust report based on eight months of multi-stakeholder input, was released. The report outlines steps for reform, including an evidence-based process of care – Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) – that personalizes the approach and leads to better care, reduced costs and improved patient satisfaction and provider work life.
    The GTMRx Blueprint for Change includes recommendations to engage everyone involved in patient care—from physicians to clinical pharmacists, health plan sponsors, providers, consumer groups and policymakers. The GTMRx Four Pillars of Medication Management Reform include revamping:
  • How we practice
  • How we pay
  • How we use diagnostics
  • How we integrate technology
    You can download the report here.
Now available! Hear from Paul Grundy, M.D., MPH, FACOEM, FACPM, chief transformation officer of Innovaccer and president of the GTMRx Institute; Todd Sorensen, Pharm.D., FAPhA, FCCP, associate dean for strategic initiatives and innovations, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at the University of Minnesota; and Kylee Funk, Pharm.D., BCPS, associate professor, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, as they offer an overview of actions that providers can take in their practice in order to assist in the implementation of comprehensive medication management.
Watch here.
Hosted by the GTMRx Institute’s executive director and co-founder, Katherine H. Capps, Voices of Change features leaders who have knowledge, experience and ideas to solve this urgent need to get the medications right. The most recent episode features Amanda Brummel, PharmD, BCACP, vice president, Clinical Ambulatory Pharmacy Services Fairview Pharmacy Services. Past guests include Orsula V. Knowlton, PharmD, MBA, president and chief marketing & new business development officer of Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc., Anand Parekh, MD, chief medical advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center and GTMRx President Paul Grundy, MD, chief transformation officer, Innovaccer. Listen here.
Donate to the GTMRx Foundation through AmazonSmile!
    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 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.

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