Addressing Racial and Health Disparities
Where We Stand:
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) stands against racial and health care injustice. AMCP recognizes that health disparities derived from racism and social determinants of health exist in the United States and are deeply rooted and complex. In addition, AMCP recognizes that opportunity exists to improve patient outcomes and ensure accountability for health equity among people living in the U.S., including Black Americans, indigenous people, and people of color.1
AMCP is committed to 1) mitigating disparities related to optimal medication use, 2) advancing conversations by calling for pertinent submissions to the Journal of Managed Care + Specialty Pharmacy (JMCP) and conducting partnership forum(s), 3) incorporating health equity goals into the strategic plan, and 4) supporting impactful education and policy.
AMCP is committed to mitigating disparities as they relate to optimal medication use. AMCP supports efforts that will thoughtfully optimize medication use for all individuals, such as mitigating existing gaps in clinical trial data and health care delivery system data and encouraging managed care organizations to increase diversity and equity in formulary development, coverage criteria, and benefit offerings. All providers of care should consider patients’ ability to interact with and access the health care system.
AMCP is advancing critical conversations around disparities in medication use by requesting pertinent submissions to JMCP.1,2 One article from the November 2020 issue helps to define this mission by providing an outline for addressing racial disparities in medication use. AMCP supports the outline, which includes1,3
- Acknowledging that disparities exist
- Taking steps to reduce disparities
- Improving coverage policies, program designs, and quality initiatives in consultation with those impacted by disparity
- Reducing cost-sharing for essential medications
- Supporting federal and state efforts to limit out-of-pocket medication costs
Another way that AMCP is advancing critical conversations is by conducting partnership forum(s). AMCP convened a forum on racial health disparities with more than 40 experts representing key stakeholders, including health payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers from various managed care settings and patient advocates, to discuss disparities as they relate to medication use.4 AMCP supports the following key principles that emerged from the forum relative to means to mitigate racial health disparities:
- Acknowledge that structural racism exists and that it can impact the provision of health care, including but not limited to formulary development and benefit design processes.
- Integrate proactive strategies to improve equity, beginning with education and training, into all aspects of health care.
- View patients holistically with an understanding of the compounding effect of social determinants of health on their personal wellness.
To further build on AMCP’s work on this important subject, AMCP has convened an advisory group to develop consensus statements using the perspectives gathered during the Partnership Forum to reduce health disparities.
Strategic Equity Goals
AMCP and the AMCP Foundation have included measurable health equity goals into their strategic plans and initiatives.1, 5 These include an equity, diversity, and inclusion statement to guide planning. In addition, discussions on potential sources of racial health disparities and inequities in benefit design conversations are prevalent.1
Supporting Impactful Education and Policy
AMCP supports education and training on topics such as equity-related terminology, systemic racism, implicit bias, and cultural competence, as they are vital to effective equity efforts. As well, AMCP supports evolving federal and state policies and developing new policies that positively impact equity.4
AMCP Where We Stand series: https://www.amcp.org/policy-advocacy/policy-advocacy-focus-areas/where-we-stand-position-statements
Approved by the AMCP Board of Directors, July 2022
1Cantrell SA. Finding inspiration to address health disparities. AMCP blog. October 24, 2021. Accessed July 25, 2021. https://www.amcp.org/Resource-Center/blog/finding-inspiration-address-health-disparities
2Racial disparities in medication use: JMCP response and call for submissions. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2020;26(11):1475-76. Doi:10.18553/jmcp.2020.26.111.1475
3Kogut SJ. Racial disparities in medication use: imperatives for managed care pharmacy. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2020:26(11):1468-1474. Doi:10.18553/jmcp.2020.26.11.1468
4AMCP Partnership Forum: Racial health disparities – a closer look at benefit design, Journal Managed Care Specialty Pharmacy [Published online October 4, 2021]
5Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. AMCP strategic priorities - introduced Spring 2021. Accessed July 28, 2021. https://www.amcp.org/about/about-amcp/amcp-strategic-priorities