The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is throwing its support behind federal legislation that would create a Medicare benefit category for prescription digital therapeutics.
Prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) and biosimilars were on the top of the agenda of the annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) last week in San Antonio. Several speakers commented on the energy of the meeting, which had an attendance of just over 3,500.
“This place is just buzzing,” said Deb Curry, the past president of AMCP, before broadcaster Robin Roberts spoke at the general on session on Wednesday.
AMCP is lobbying for passage of the Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act, which would create a new benefit category for PDTs. During a session on federal legislation and regulation, Jenifer L. Mathieu, the organization’s senior vice president, professional and government affairs, discussed the bill’s prospects. On the one hand, Mathieu said the bill has the advantage of bipartisan sponsorship in both the Senate and House in a closely divided Congress that makes legislation with bipartisan support political attractive and feasible. On the other hand, Mathieu stressed how long legislation takes to get through Congress, and the Congressional Budget Office has yet to assess (“score”) its effect on the federal spending, a key step in the legislative process.
The meeting also featured a session on how health plans are going about deciding to whether to cover PDTs. The panelists — Joseph Albright of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Terry Cothran of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and Sam Sui of Fallon Health — discussed adding subject matter expertise to the pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee process but also said it was too soon to start hiring additional people to review PDTs.
In addition, the exhibition hall had prescription digital therapeutics pavilion PDT companies showed off their wares.
New this year was a biosimilar track comprising four sessions. Outside of those sessions, biosimilars came up often, a reflection of their growing market share and the launching of biosimilars to Humira (adalimumab) this year. In his keynote presentation, Douglas Long of IQVIA and a regular speaker at AMCP and other conferences, showed figures that project spending on biosimilar will more than triple from $11.4 billion this to $38.5 billion in 2027.