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Practice Transformation

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, a consensus report recommending equitable allocation framework for COVID-19 vaccine allocation. It recommends using existing systems across all levels of government to ensure equitable allocation, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccine; launching a COVID-19 vaccine promotion campaign and risk communication and engagement program; and supporting equitable allocation globally. The framework would begin vaccinations with front-line health workers; workers who provide health care facility services such as transportation and environmental services; and first responders. The report was requested by HHS and the CDC. (report highlightsannouncement)
A remote, algorithm-driven, navigator-administered medication optimization program can enhance implementation of guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, according to research published in JAMA Cardiology. Remote titration of GDMT has the potential to expand access to specialty expertise in rural or underserved areas, according to researchers. In the study population, it had a low rate of adverse events and did not disrupt physician-patient relationships. “This approach may represent a scalable, population-level strategy to close the gap between guidelines and implementation of GDMT in clinical practice,” according to the researchers. (JAMA CardiologyCardiology Advisor)
Amazon Care, the company’s virtual clinic exclusively for its own Washington employees, appears poised to expand, CNBC reports. It is seeking to fill several business development roles to “build and grow relationships with commercial and public sector enterprises.” Most of the roles were posted in the past month. It has already begun reaching out to health plans and employers to discuss expansion, according to an insider—but at this point, it’s purely exploratory. However, Amazon has a history of testing products on its own workforce before expanding to a broader population. (CNBC)

Evidence & Innovation

Purdue engineers have created a tiny robot that travels throughout a colon by doing back flips. Why flips? The goal is to use these robots to precisely transport drugs in humans; colons (and other organs) have rough terrains. Delivering drug directly to its target site could remove certain side effects. Their research, published in Micromachines, is the first demonstration of a microrobot tumbling through a real-life (animal) biological system. Too small to carry a battery, the microrobot is controlled from the outside by a magnetic field. “When we apply a rotating external magnetic field to these robots, they rotate just like a car tire would to go over rough terrain,” said David Cappelleri, a Purdue associate professor of mechanical engineering. (Editor’s note: Watch the video at the Purdue link.) (MicromachinesPurdue announcement and video)
Psychologists and psychiatrists expect to see more cases of post-traumatic stress disorder among COVID-19 survivors and front-line workers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Desperately needed new treatments are are on the horizon. Many combine psychotherapy and medication. Early studies combining psychotherapy with MDMA (aka Ecstasy) are promising. “MDMA allows people to engage trustingly with other people in a therapeutic context,” says Boadie W. Dunlop, MD, an investigator on studies involving MDMA tells WSJ. Other drugs being investigated include steroid dexamethasone and D-cycloserine. Ketamine—a version of which the FDA approved last year for treatment-resistant depression—also holds potential. (Wall Street Journal)

Policy Solutions

Pending regulatory and ethical approval, the UK plans to move forward with human challenge trials for COVID-19 in January. Young, healthy individuals will be intentionally exposed to the virus in an effort to accelerate vaccine development. Such trials, while controversial, are nothing new: They have provided insights into malaria, influenza and other diseases. Entering such uncharted medical and bioethical territory isn’t to be undertaken lightly, says Peter Openshaw, an immunologist at Imperial College London and investigator on the study. “However, such studies are enormously informative about a disease.” (Nature)
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In Case You Missed It!

Helping Employers Avoid Waste in Pharmacy Benefits Spend: The Role of Comprehensive Medication Management
Friday, October 30, 2020 | 1- 2 p.m. EDT
Cheryl Larson, president and CEO of Midwest Business Group on Health and GTMRx Employer Toolkit Taskforce member, discusses how comprehensive medication management (CMM) can strengthen employer health plans. Learn about how the current model of paying for low value medications no longer works and how employers, as health plan fiduciaries, can utilize innovative strategies such as CMM to provide high value care for plan participants while protecting plan assets. Understand how CCM helps employers to saves lives, improve employee productivity and enhance clinical outcomes.
Register Now! Member Feedback Needed: Medication Management Reform: 4 Key Drivers
Mark you calendar! GTMRx will be hosting four key presentations and panel reactions, showcasing the work from 100+ GTMRx experts?.
November 12 – from 1:00-1:30 pm EST?
Precision Medicine: Leveraging the Power of PGx to Improve
Patient Care
November 13 – from 1:00-1:30 pm EST
Health IT: Turning Data into Actionable Information
November 17 – from 1:00-1:30 pm EST
Payment and Policy: Demonstrating Value
November 19 – from 1:00-2:00 pm EST
Practice Transformation: CMM Adoption Across the Care Continuum?
*This event is for members only. If you are unsure if you are a member, you can sign up here.
HC21 8th Annual Pharma U: Using Clinical Pharmacists for Better Care and Better Costs in Complex Patients
Thursday, November 12, 2020 10 – 11 AM EST
Employers demand high value care–the right drug, right patient, right time, right cost. Join HC21 for this online event to discuss how employers can leverage CMM to Get The Medications Right.
October 9, 2020 GTMRx Executive Roundtable
At the GTMRx Institute, we recognize that we cannot achieve our goals for medication management reform without a team-based approach which must include a viable primary care foundation—supported by payment reform that rewards inter-professional teams, utilizes effective and smart use of health IT at the point of care and is personalized through the use of companion and complementary diagnostics.
The virtual event will bring in speakers to illuminate the crisis we face with
  • a crumbling primary care infrastructure,
  • the importance of payment and policy change to achieve value,
  • the way forward in practice transformation and
  • the need for point-of-care access to information enabled by health IT (companion and complementary diagnostic test results, clinical information needed to evaluate therapy effectiveness and/or changes in needed therapy) available for use by all team members.
Featuring Susan Dentzer, MPH; Patrick Conway, MD; Mary R. McClurg, Pharm.D.; Mark Loafman, MD, MPH; Ann Greiner and Annette Dubard, MD, MPH. Find more information here.
CMM offers reduced costs, improves access to care, provides better care and enhances provider work life. These results are outlined in “The Outcomes of Implementing and Integrating Comprehensive Medication Management in Team-Based Care: A Review of the Evidence on Quality, Access and Costs,” updated in June 2020. The evidence document was prepared by GTMRx workgroup members, M. Shawn McFarland, PharmD, FCCP, BCACP, national clinical pharmacy practice program manager, clinical practice integration and model advancement, clinical pharmacy practice office, pharmacy benefits management services, Veterans Health Administration; and Marcia Buck, PharmD, FCCP, FPPAG, BCPPS, director, clinical practice advancement, American College of Clinical Pharmacy. (GTMRx Institute)
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. Did you miss the most recent episode?
Episodes feature:
  • Liz Fowler, JD, Ph.D., executive vice president for programs, The Commonwealth Fund
  • Amy Gutierrez, Pharm.D.,senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer, Kaiser Permanente
  • Amanda Brummel, PharmD, BCACP, vice president, Clinical Ambulatory Pharmacy Services, Fairview Pharmacy Services
  • Orsula V. Knowlton, PharmD, MBA, president and chief marketing & new business development officer, Tabula Rasa HealthCare
  • Anand Parekh, MD, chief medical advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Paul Grundy, MD, president, GTMRx; chief transformation officer, Innovaccer
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.
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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