New guidelines out on drug purchasing

January 1, 1997

Pharmaceutical Representative

Two researchers have published new guidelines for managed care systems to evaluate drug products.

Two researchers have published new guidelines for managed care systems to evaluate drug products.

The guidelines, which are the first published in the United States, are aimed at giving purchasers and drug manufacturers direction on what types of economic and clinical analysis are most useful when determining which drugs to include on formulary.

Paul Langley, Ph.D., associate professor with the Center for Pharmaceutical Economics at the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy, Tucson, and Sean Sullivan, Ph.D., assistant professor with the Department of Pharmacy and Health Services at the University of Washington, Seattle, wrote the template. The guidelines appear in the Nov./Dec. issue of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, the journal of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Alexandria, VA.

The guidelines stress the need for drug manufacturers to provide pharmacoeconomic and other data designed to show how a particular drug will affect a specific patient population within a defined health care system.

The guidelines suggest that manufacturers provide cost assessments for the first three years the product is on formulary. "To assess the cost impact, proposers must estimate and justify the rate of uptake of the new therapy, characteristics of the treating population (including comorbidities), patterns of substitution for other products and resources used to support therapy," the guidelines state. "Cost estimates should include the cost of treating adverse events."

One large health maintenance organization, Foundation Health Plan, Rancho Cordova, CA, is adopting drug evaluation guidelines based largely on Langley and Sullivan's work. PR