CEO Blog/05.01.18


Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE



Welcome Remarks at General Session of AMCP Annual Meeting 2018 in Boston  



Hello! Welcome to Boston and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Annual Meeting!   

It is my pleasure to stand here before you at this pivotal moment in the history of our country’s health care system. As we just saw [referencing video], the way we deliver care is undergoing a sweeping transformation by forces that require new thinking and innovation. 

Glance at any news outlet today and you’ll see story after story on the trends buffeting health care:  

  •  Headline: skyrocketing costs place enormous burdens on patients and payers alike. 
  •  Headline: breakthrough therapies come with astronomical price tags.  
  •  Headline: a flood of state and federal legislative proposals aim to control drug prices. 

And, fundamentally,  

  • Headline: How viable is the U.S. health care system? 

Transformative? Disruptive? I think so! 

And AMCP’s response? It’s no longer business-as-usual. The urgency of these headlines cannot be ignored. Health care spending increased by almost 5 percent last year to reach nearly $3.5 trillion dollars. And the average cost of prescription drugs between 2005 and 2015 has increased by more than 172 percent. 

But there’s a bright spot to this picture.  Just look at some of the new, innovative therapies that are revolutionizing the way we treat diseases today. And managed care pharmacy supports and welcomes this remarkable innovation. But it’s clear we need to free up space in the health care ecosystem to pay for these products.  

That’s why AMCP’s top priorities for policy and advocacy this year include: addressing the rising cost of medications; and shifting away from fee-for-service payment and towards value-based models. 

And we need you – our members – to play a crucial role in this effort! Together, we can address the challenging headlines to make effective medicines available and affordable. And we can avoid some of the more extreme solutions being put forth that may have unintended consequences. 

Fortunately, AMCP is ideally positioned to make this happen. We are leading on a host of promising initiatives that address the rising cost of medications, and shift us towards value-based models. We start by bringing together all the important stakeholders to discuss the issues and propose solutions.  This year we will be discussing ways: 

  • To manage the total cost of patient care across the medical and pharmacy benefits;  
  •  To designing new payment models for expensive, high-investment medications; 
  •  To better use patient-reported outcomes as a measure of value; and 
  •  To implement value-based agreements in integrated delivery networks. 

These efforts will be aided by the AMCP Foundation, which has the twin missions of advancing education and conducting research. Just yesterday the Joint AMCP and AMCP Foundation Research Committee approved a research agenda that will identify and prioritize critical evidentiary gaps in managed care pharmacy. In the past, our Foundation provided invaluable research into such topics as maximizing value in health care, and addressing the medicine affordability crisis. And the Foundation will continue to its body of knowledge on Emerging Trends in Health Care.  

These current efforts continue AMCP’s long tradition of driving health care transformation. We are very proud of our role in: 

  • Promoting legislation to allow for the exchange of information on medications prior to FDA approval;  
  • Helping design and support the Medicare Part D program; and 
  • Generating evidence on the safety and efficacy of biologics and biosimilars through the creation  of the Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium, or BBCIC as we call it.    

On the topic of biosimilars, we're delighted the FDA is taking steps to spur competition around these products. We're also delighted that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has recognized AMCP's offer of support (on Twitter). It seems Twitter is where policy announcements are made these days.” 

We have the ideas, the talent, the evidence-based data and the respect to address today’s most pressing headlines.  

But AMCP is not only adapting to meet external challenges. We are continually evolving to meet the challenges and needs of you, our members.  

You are the reason we are all here. We don’t forget that! AMCP aims to be your essential partner in helping you perform your job and advance your career.  

And, of course, we will continue to provide you with the very best educational opportunities possible…through events such as this Annual Meetings and our fall Nexus conference. I would like to thank our Meeting sponsors who help make this possible! 

AMCP turns 30 this year…and yet it feels like we’ve just begun! What keeps us fresh and nimble — and dare I say youthful — is our laser focus on always improving and pushing boundaries. We have never been more energized…never been more driven…and never been more excited to help our members carry out the mission of “improving health care for all!”