AMCP 2022: RWE Research Keeps Coming on Strong, Say JMCP Editor-in-Chief


Real-world studies are increasing as real-world data for new drugs for cancer and autoimmune disease have “matured,” says Laura E. Happe, Pharm.D., M.P.H., the editor-in-chief of Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy.

Laura Happe

Laura Happe

More research yielding real-world evidence (RWE) and an uptick in studies evaluating health disparities and social determinants of health are among the trends that Laura E. Happe, Pharm.D., M.P.H., has seen in the research presented at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) annual meeting in Chicago.

Happe is editor-in-chief of Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, which is published by AMCP. Outside reviewers and other editors at the journal rate the abstracts of the research submitted for presentation at the AMCP annual meeting. Happe, who has been editor-in-chief for just over mor nine years, reviews and finalizes the ratings and the acceptance decisions.

“We have seen a lot of RWE studies in therapeutic areas with new drugs or indications approved in the past few years, such as oncology and autoimmune disorders, as the real-world data for these products is maturing,” Happe said in an email to Managed Healthcare Executive®.

She also noted that the number of submissions for poster presentations at the meeting and to the journal increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now that business is beginning to return to normal, submissions are leveling out to pre-pandemic levels, “ Happe said.

More than 100 pharmacy students presented research at the 2022 meeting, according to Happe, and a large proportion of their research focused on the effects of direct patient care services or benefit design on patient outcomes.

“We are excited to see our future managed care pharmacists leading the way in this type of research,” which, she said, is consistent with the research priorities of AMCP and the AMCP Foundation. Happe mentioned research led by Trey J. Jones, a University of Wisconsin pharmacy student, that examined the effectiveness of mail-to-prescriber letters to facilitate the “deprescribing” of duplicative treatments for diabetes with drugs in the GLP-1 agonist and DPP-4 inhibitor classes.

Happe said that her “editor’s pick” of the research at the 2022 annual meeting was research conducted by Rupesh Panchal, Pharm.D.,and his colleagues at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Panchal, a postdoctoral fellow in a joint program of University of Utah Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center and University of Utah Health Plans, reviewed patient reference studies and conducted interviews to identify differences in the preferences of patients and providers when it comes to medications for managing type 2 diabetes. Patients prioritized route of administration and dosing flexibility. Providers put more stock in A1c reduction, gastrointestinal side effects and out-of-pocket costs.

Managed care pharmacy is grappling with how to incorporate the patient voice, Happe noted, and payers can use this type of research to identify high-value medications for formularies.

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