The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is the national professional society dedicated to the concept and practice of pharmaceutical care in managed health care environments. AMCP's mission is to improve patient health by ensuring access to high-quality, cost-effective medications and other therapies. The Academy's more than 8,000 members nationally provide comprehensive coverage to over 300 million Americans served by managed care.
In 1988, eight visionary pharmacists came together at the RPR Kellogg Institute at Northwestern University to discuss the need to establish a professional organization for managed care pharmacists. Working quickly to make this a reality, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) was formed in 1988. During the next four years, from 1988-1992, AMCP recruited charter members, adopted bylaws, and officially incorporated. AMCP also held its first independent national meeting in Phoenix, Arizona; and produced several publications including its first position paper, the first edition of the AMCP News, and a membership directory. The Academy's membership grew to 1,288 by 1993. Additionally AMCP established a corporate membership category; joined the Joint Commission of Practicing Pharmacists (JCPP); and founded the Foundation for Managed Care Pharmacy (FMCP).
Between 1993 and 1995, AMCP experienced an expansion of its role as a professional association serving managed care pharmacists. The Academy became accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education in 1995. More publications were produced, including the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, Principles and Practices of Managed Care Pharmacy, and the Experiential Learning Manual. Several programs were developed such as: the Ambassador Program; AMCP/Parke-Davis Summer Internship Program; the FMCP-sponsored Management Development Program in conjunction with the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy; a program on Principles and Practices of Managed Care Pharmacy; and an educational conference for AMCP members held in Anaheim, California. In addition, AMCP became further involved in political affairs by joining the Coalition on Health Care Reform, to address the national health reform debates of 1994, and by bringing several AMCP members to Capitol Hill for the first annual Lobby Day.
The highlights of AMCP's achievements between 1996 and 1998 include: the development of the Diplomat Program; the establishment of the Pharmacy Quality Council by the Board of Directors; the founding of AMCP student chapters on seven campuses; the publishing of AMCP's Dedication to Quality Education, the Catalog of Quality Indicators, the Weekly News; the launching of AMCP's website and Fax on Demand; and the 10th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Academy's membership more than tripled by the middle of 1997 to 4,048 members.
The 2000s was a decade of increased productivity at AMCP. The Academy became a charter member of the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy; created a Professional Policy Digest; established a working partnership with the American Society of Health System Pharmacists to accredit managed care pharmacy one-year, entry-level residencies and jointly developed the standards by which the programs would be accredited; and co-edited a textbook entitled, “Managed Care Pharmacy Practice,” published by Aspen Publications. Furthermore, the Academy created the Corporate Member Council as a forum for corporate and individual members to explore issues of mutual concern, and established an Awards strategy to recognize those individuals who have made significant contributions to the Academy and the profession.
In an effort to educate AMCP members and legislators, the Academy has created multiple “Where We Stand” publications on government relations issues of relevance to the Academy. The Concept Series was also created to explain various managed care pharmacy clinical practice issues.
In the year 2000, the Academy created the Format for Formulary Submissions, a standardized methodology for assessing drugs scientifically, based on the value they provide. Widely adopted by numerous health plans, governmental agencies such as the Department of Defense and leading pharmacy benefit management companies, the Format has become a de facto industry standard. Managed care organizations employing the Format cover approximately half of all pharmacy care beneficiaries. The Format was significantly revised in 2009. The Academy's Foundation for Managed Care Pharmacy (FMCP) offers training sessions on the Format.
In 2005, spurred by the Medicare Modernization Act's (MMA's) inclusion of the medication therapy management (MTM) requirement, AMCP and other organizations recognized a lack of clear definition of what specific elements would constitute a sound MTM program. To fill that gap, AMCP assembled a variety of stakeholder organizations that served as a working group to build a consensus document that would define those elements. The Academy issued the consensus document Sound Medication Therapy Management Programs in April 2006. In late 2006, AMCP undertook a project to validate the content of that document in the marketplace. AMCP coordinated the project components and the work of the project's advisory panel. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) performed the project's field work under contract to the Academy. The final product, Version 2.0, helped stimulate public policy discussion, aided in the evolution of sound MTM programs, enhanced patient care and encouraged the efficient use of health care resources dedicated to these programs.
Two other significant contributions to managed care practice included AMCP's Guide to Pharmaceutical Payment Methods and Sound Medication Therapy Management Programs, V2.0. The Guide — originally released in 2007 and updated in 2009 — is a comprehensive, factual description and analysis of alternative drug payment methods and payment systems. The Guide includes a review of the history, current application, potential future utility, impact on managed care pharmacy, other stakeholders in the pharmaceutical marketplace and the overall health care delivery system. It also includes a glossary of payment terms, tables showing which payers and settings utilize which methods, payment flowcharts to illustrate how the money flows with each of the payment systems and examples of payment calculations. Downloadable in a summary and a comprehensive format from the AMCP website, it is accompanied by a web-based interactive resource library.
In 2008, the Academy engaged Milliman, Inc. to act as an independent third party to collect quantitative and qualitative rebate cost impact information from a number of large Medicare Part D program administrators and report summaries of that data. The report showed that US taxpayers could pay an unnecessary $511 million per year to support the “six classes” stipulation in Medicare Part D. And in 2010, AMCP and Dymaxium Healthcare Innovations, Ltd. launched the AMCP eDossier System Pilot Program. This powerful electronic dossier system promises to revolutionize the way health care decision makers access and evaluate information needed to make evidence-based formulary decisions.
In addition to developing and offering multiple information resources and services, AMCP hosts two national meetings year, which attract roughly 4,000 Academy members and other health care stakeholders. Furthermore, dozens of student pharmacists each year get the opportunity to experience managed care pharmacy first-hand through AMCP and the AMCP Foundation's highly competitive and prestigious intern and externship programs.
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is proud to be an organization whose members share the common goal of ensuring positive health care outcomes through quality, accessible, and affordable pharmaceutical care.