CEO Blog/04.11.17


Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE



Eye on the Hill: AMCP Sees Progress in PIE Bill and Will Continue to Promote Comprehensive Pharmacy Benefit in Health Care Reform Efforts


Whoever said, “May you live in interesting times,” could have been talking about Congressional health care policy debates circa 2017. Never a dull moment!

Many things are happening on the health care legislative front, and AMCP has been in the thick of it. I am delighted to report that we are seeing major movement in our efforts to better facilitate the sharing of clinical and economic information between biopharmaceutical companies and health care decision makers.

On April 6, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced H.R.2026, the "Pharmaceutical Information Exchange (PIE) Act of 2017". The bill aims to improve patient access to emerging medication therapies by clarifying the scope of permitted health care economic and scientific information communications between biopharmaceutical manufacturers and population health decision makers.

We applaud Congressman Guthrie for taking the lead on this important initiative. The PIE Act will help AMCP members better care for the patient populations they serve by aiding in forecasting and budgeting, and by enabling the implementation of value-based contracts and expediting coverage decisions for emerging therapies granted breakthrough designation immediately upon FDA approval. AMCP is proud to have led on this issue on behalf of our members.

The bill’s language closely aligns with AMCP’s consensus recommendations, released in January, to allow biopharmaceutical companies to proactively share clinical and economic information with population health decision makers on emerging therapies in advance of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, an area that is significantly restricted by current federal laws and FDA regulations. You can read the recommendations here:

In the coming weeks, we will work to build bipartisan support to pass this legislation. I am proud to say that AMCP is in the thick of efforts to move the U.S. closer and closer to a value-based health care system where decisions are made using all of the available evidence to help improve health care for all.

On a larger front, the dominant health care question for 2017 remains the same: what if anything will replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? While Congress’s recent efforts to replace the ACA failed, GOP lawmakers are now considering new efforts to repeal and replace this landmark health care reform. Whatever transpires, AMCP will continue to advocate for the inclusion of a comprehensive pharmacy benefit that uses managed care pharmacy principles and practices. This was the message that AMCP board members, volunteers and staff took to Capitol Hill last month for our Legislative Days event. During our meetings in more than 53 House and Senate offices, we made three essential points:

●  First, we support a comprehensive prescription drug benefit in any new legislation that improves outcomes while ensuring the wise use of health care dollars.

●  Second, managed care pharmacy professionals have the expertise necessary to help lawmakers develop policies for an effective pharmaceutical benefit under any new health care reform bill.

●  Third, the nation must continue moving towards a value-based health care system that promotes and funds comparative effectiveness research to make more informed decisions.

Interesting times, indeed!