May 2008, Vol 1, No 4


Since 2000, there have been approximately 822 compounds for the treatment of depression that are currently in various stages of development (Table 1).

Last month, 2 back-to-back meetings brought out some of the leaders driving the transformation of healthcare into a value-based, patient-centered system. The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) went first, celebrating its 20th anniversary, followed by the 5th Annual World Health Care Congress (WHCC). Both sessions revealed just how different, and better, healthcare is becoming. Even the warnings about the catastrophic consequences of not improving our healthcare system were accompanied by numerous remedies for it.

Is wellness just a physical matter? Is the burden of disease just a matter of costs? These are obviously rhetorical questions. No one would challenge the notion that health is more than the absence of disease and is at the very least a state of mental and physical well-being. But how often do we try to understand "mental wellness"? How often do we look into screening, diagnosis, intervention, and referral of mental issues in a fragmented mental healthcare system?

Schizophrenia is a poorly understood condition. Despite several recent documentaries and movies depicting the course and disability of this illness, the lay public remains largely confused about schizophrenia and continues to harbor notions that it is a "split personality" or a "Jekyll and Hyde" phenomenon. Regrettably, efforts to articulate a clear account of what schizophrenia really is and what causes it have been hampered by a lack of compelling evidence as to its etiology.

Last month I discussed the unprecedented share of generic drugs in the total prescriptions that were dispensed in the United States in the past year. In 2004 and 2005, managed care organizations began to recognize the potential value of the very robust pipeline of generic products that were to be launched over the next 5 years. They recognized the significant impact this could have on their pharmacy cost and, ultimately, on the premium structure of the benefit. Therefore, managed care organizations have embraced the concept of generic drugs openly.

In the latter part of the 1990s, the annual increase rate in national spending for pharmaceutical medications ranged from 11% to 17%, overtaking the growth rates for hospital care (3%-6%) and physician services (4%-7%), which had dominated the healthcare industry in the 1970s.1 At the turn of the 21st century, this rate was expected to continue to climb but instead had reached a peak by 2001-2002.

Drug Expenditures' Impact on Benefit Design

Based on a keynote address by Robert B. Reich delivered at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, April 17, 2008, San Francisco, CA.

The US economy is in a consumer-driven recession that is likely to be long and deep and that is ushering in dramatic changes in consumer spending patterns. This will inevitably translate into healthcare changes as well, according to Robert B. Reich. The 3 major trends underlying current economic changes are demographics, globalization, and technology.

Based on a presentation by David Brailer, MD, PhD, at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting, April 18, 2008, in San Francisco, CA.

Based on a presentation by Marissa Schlaifer, RPh; Linda Baggett, RPh, CGP; and Kimberly Vernachio, PharmD, at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting, April 17, 2008, San Francisco, CA.

Marisa Schlaifer, RPh, Director of Pharmacy Affairs at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) described a new medication therapy management (MTM) program that was developed by the AMCP to serve as a guide for MTM programs for those designing and those purchasing an MTM program.

Based on a presentation by Kathleen Orrico, PharmD, at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting, April 17, 2008, San Francisco, CA.

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  •  Association for Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Oncology Practice Management
  • Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Care in Rheumatology
  • Rheumatology Practice Management
  • Urology Practice Management
  • Lynx CME