AMCP Forum Discusses Strategies, Standards for Ushering in Era of Precision Medicine

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 14, 2017 "Precision medicine is no longer emerging, it's happening now," according to Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE, CEO of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). That message came through loud and clear at a recent AMCP stakeholder forum on how to better integrate precision medicine within managed care settings.

Precision medicine involves the tailoring of medicines and therapies based on a patient's unique genetic makeup or other biologic characteristics. More and more precision medicines are coming to market with the promise of treatment and cures that were inconceivable only a few short years ago. 

The challenge, however, is how to ensure such tailored therapies are widely adopted under the current health care system, which focuses on delivering care to large populations. In practice, precision medicine requires tests and screenings that may not be routine. As such, data needed to evaluate or customize a therapy are not always easy to obtain.

AMCP's Partnership Forum, "Managing Care in the Wave of Precision Medicine," held Dec. 7-8 outside of Washington, D.C., tackled this challenge and others by gathering more than 30 experts from across the health care spectrum, including managed care, the biopharmaceutical industry, provider groups, health IT, the federal government, academia and patient advocacy. The experts identified best practices and recommendations on issues such as:

  • Technology needed to support the efficient application of precision medicine; 
  • Evidentiary standards needed by managed care pharmacy to make informed formulary and coverage decisions for precision medicine; 
  • Benefit designs and reimbursement strategies needed to integrate precision medicine, including the development of new care models; 
  • Potential ethical challenges and the impact on population and utilization management tools; 
  • Success in managing precision medicine, including with new outcomes-based quality measures. 

Forum participants agreed that pharmacists — with their training and expertise on the safe and effective use of medications — are well suited to play a key role in team-based delivery of personalized care. In addition, they expressed a need for guiding principles that would allow for flexible benefit designs to ensure access to precision medicine therapies; new evidentiary standards for precision medicine decision making; and a robust interoperable data infrastructure necessary to support operationalizing precision medicine in managed care settings. 

AMCP is poised to lead in the development of evidentiary standards around precision medicine, and will collaborate with stakeholders to ensure the legal-and-regulatory infrastructure is in place at the federal and state levels to allow for the adoption of these therapies.

"Operationalizing precision medicine in managed care is essential to patients and providers," added Cantrell. "This movement will have a direct bearing on AMCP's more than 8,000 members who design and manage pharmacy benefits of more than 270 million Americans. We see precision medicine as no longer a subset of pharmacy care, but central to its success."

The forum was sponsored by Amgen, Foundation Medicine, Genentech, Gilead, MedImpact, National Pharmaceutical Council, Precision for Value, Sanofi, Takeda and Xcenda.