Identifying and Prioritizing Critical Evidence Gaps
Managed Care Pharmacy Research Agenda
The managed care pharmacy research agenda is a call to action for AMCP and AMCP Foundation, and for our stakeholders. Its purpose is to inspire AMCP members, researchers and funding agencies to close knowledge gaps. Our organizations are committed to generating new findings within these high-priority topics because there is significant potential to improve health care quality — for all.
The crux of the research agenda is in the following four pillars:
- Real-world evidence (RWE) to inform managed care pharmacy decision-making.
- Value-based models in managed care pharmacy to address total cost of care.
- Impact of benefit design or utilization management strategies on patient outcomes.
- Impact of direct patient care services provided by managed care pharmacy on patient outcomes.
These pillars are intentionally broad and expected to evolve as the health care system changes, managed care pharmacy practitioners transform their work, and new technologies and data capabilities become available.
Given the broad nature of the agenda, eight research priorities within these pillars are codified. These further illuminate the areas where managed care pharmacists would like more evidence to inform their health care decision-making.
- Disparities in designing and delivering health care through managed care pharmacy, while considering diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as social determinants of health (SDOH).
- Drugs approved in an expedited manner by FDA as they typically have very limited clinical or economic evidence at the time of launch.
- Drugs or clinical care services where price and/or expected use would have a significant impact on the managed care pharmacy budget.
- Potential opportunities for outcomes-based contracting.
- Impact of legislative activities and policies.
- Disease states where there are limited or outdated clinical guidelines.
- Medication therapy management and the impact on clinical outcomes across various patient demographics.
- Managed care pharmacy programs focused on patient care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research Aims in Health Equity and Accelerated Approvals
AMCP and AMCP Foundation are particularly interested in advancing knowledge within the first two priorities: Health Inequities and Accelerated Approvals. These priorities both reside within the real-world evidence pillar and a trio of specific research aims accompanies each priority.
- Understand how the ability to navigate managed care tools among diverse patient populations may impact health inequities.
Understand the connection between health inequities and medication adherence and define managed care-specific quality measures that incorporate SDOH.
Determine how SDOH, such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, impact a patient’s ability to afford medications across different benefit designs.
- Create a data survey tool to collect RWE for a product approved with limited evidence under FDA Accelerated Approval.
- Identify surrogate endpoints with a strong correlation to meaningful clinical outcomes in confirmatory trials.
- Collect data regarding the optimal sequence of clinical pathways in a specific cancer or other disease based on incremental benefit of clinical outcomes and cost.
AMCP, JMCP and AMCP Foundation encourage submissions for conference sessions, abstracts, manuscripts and grant proposals that align to the research agenda.
A key strategy in implementing the research agenda is the activation of AMCP Foundation research grants so that we can fund vital questions and enhance health. Apply for our health equity research grants. Contact us to partner on research funding, themed internships or related programs.
- Poster at AMCP 2023, "Aligning JMCP and AMCP Research Communications to the Managed Care Pharmacy Research Agenda," Mar. 2023.
- Proceedings manuscript, "Advancing a Managed Care Pharmacy Research Agenda: Generating Real-World Evidence to Support US FDA Accelerated Approvals and Improving Benefit Design to Address Health Inequities," Aug. 2022. Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, 2022 Aug;28(8):911-917.
- Poster at AMCP Nexus 2021, "Advancing the Managed Care Pharmacy Research Agenda through Generation of Real-World Evidence (RWE) for Expedited FDA Approvals and Health Disparities," Oct. 2021.
- Poster at Virtual AMCP 2021, "Advancing the Managed Care Pharmacy Research Agenda via Mapping of Research Pillars and Priorities," Apr. 2021.
- Webinar, "From Value to Patient Care: Innovative Practices within the Managed Care Pharmacy Research Agenda," Apr. 2021. Features four cutting-edge case studies with speakers from health plans, PBMs and academia illustrating how their work aligns with a pillar of the research agenda.
- Proceedings manuscript, "Top Evidentiary Gaps in Managed Care Pharmacy: A Research Agenda," Apr. 2020. Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy 2020 Apr;26(4):375-381.
- Poster at AMCP 2019, "Refining a Research Agenda for Managed Care Pharmacy: A Survey Across Health Care Stakeholders," Apr. 2019.
The research agenda was proposed and is maintained by the AMCP/Foundation Joint Research Committee (JRC), with review and approval by the AMCP Board of Directors and AMCP Foundation Board of Trustees. JRC is charged with promoting and encouraging the creation and dissemination of relevant and credible research and initiatives to advance patient care services in managed care pharmacy.
The initial research agenda was developed through two surveys that were conducted sequentially with key opinion leaders, AMCP members and other stakeholders. The research agenda was updated and spearheaded by Dr. Diana Brixner, 2020-21 AMCP Scholar-in-Residence and Professor & Executive Director at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, through a series of online focus groups and reactor panels.