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Practice Transformation

Conversations about patient-centered and value-based care typically leave out the pharmacy aspect, writes Karthik Ganesh, CEO at EmpiRx Health, a value-based PBM. “If we ever hope to improve patient outcomes and lower unsustainable costs, pharmacy must feel empowered to join the groundswell toward whole-person VBC.” Pharmacy must be represented at the “value-based table” and become a key contributor to interdisciplinary care teams. “When every facet of health care is incentivized to do better instead of more, we will inject greater value into health care.” (Pharmacy Times)
Evidence & Innovation
With 3D-printed pills, customized medicines could be manufactured to patients’ individual needs, according to research published in International Journal of Pharmaceutics. The researchers identified a method to allow the 3D printing of medicine in highly porous structures, which can be used to regulate the rate of drug release from the medicine to the body. “Such treatment approaches can particularly benefit elderly patients who often have to take many different types of medicines per day and patients with complicated conditions…” lead researcher Dr. Sheng Qi of the University of East Anglia School of Pharmacy said in a statement. (announcementInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics)
Patients still aren’t getting the treatment they need—if even that treatment. Fewer routine doctor visits, procedures and screenings during the pandemics dramatically cut sales for vaccines, diabetes therapies, oncology drugs and arthritis meds, among others. Merck, Bristol-Myers and Amgen all missed first-quarter estimates largely because of such declining sales. “The pandemic suppressed demand for all health care other than COVID over the last year, even in chronic disease where you think people will get cancer infusions or get an HbA1c test for diabetes,” Eli Lilly & Co. CEO David Ricks tells Bloomberg. (Bloomberg)
The pandemic has encouraged more institutions to share health care data, but barriers remain, according to participants in an online event sponsored by the National Academy of Medicine. “What we probably knew even before the pandemic is that data sharing within and across sectors is really feasible, and it’s not prohibited by technical issues — it’s probably prohibited more by issues of misaligned incentives and ethical, social, and legal issues, which we know are really challenging to work through,” said Nakela Cook, MD, MPH, executive director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. (MedPage Today*)
To increase public access to information about the opioid crisis, the University of California San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University launched the Opioid Industry Documents Archive, a digital archive of documents from lawsuits against drug manufacturers. The archive provides free, public access to anyone interested in the continuing litigation and the evidence uncovered in the course of it. (MedPage Today*)

Policy Solutions

CMS recently sent its first wave of warning letters to hospitals breaking the Hospital Price Transparency rule—specifically, failing to disclose payer-negotiated prices. The noncompliance isn’t a surprise: Reports from the past few months indicate that hospitals and health systems are not complying with the rule, FierceHealthcare reports. CMS has been auditing hospitals’ websites and complaint submissions since the rule went into effect on Jan. 1. Hospitals that received the warning have a 90 day window to address shortcomings. Many hospitals complain that the rule is confusing and poorly written. (FierceHealthcare)
Talking about vaccine hesitancy misses the point: It ignores the fact that many people don’t really want to be vaccinated by a stranger in a strange setting, according to a perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine. Primary care has a key role: “Planners should expand access by building flexibility into the sites, times and methods for administering COVID-19 vaccines, engaging the most trusted purveyors of health care in many communities: the doctors, nurses and community leaders who know how to create access, convey persuasive messages and deliver care.” (NEJM)
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In Case You Missed It!

This roundtable will be focused on payment, policy and practice reform to support optimized medication use. The event will be held on June 23, 2021 from 2 – 5 pm ET. Speakers to be announced soon.
Interested in sponsorship or attending? Contact Jeff Hanson (e: jhanson@gtmr.org).
Our Employer toolkit, developed by the GTMRx Employer Toolkit Taskforce, explores the benefits of CMM for individuals and for the employers who pay for benefits.
Covers topics, such as:
  • What is CMM
  • How CMM differs from traditional MTM
  • The ROI of CMM in practice
  • Patients that benefit the most from CMM services
  • CMM & value-based strategies (return-on-investment)
  • CMM & Pharmacogenomics testing
  • Employer call to action
Find more information on its development and what others are saying in our press release. Find other, employer-related resources.
Download the Employer Toolkit today!
Employers want a healthy, productive workforce. They want to eliminate waste. They want health care that works. They want the investments they make in primary care programs designed to manage chronic conditions and in medication management programs to create value; mitigate risks; and decrease hospitalizations, ER visits and other services that impact total cost of care.
They can make that happen. Read more.
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.
  See past issues of our weekly news brief here

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