Pharmacist involvement improves reimbursement of biologics, paper says

European health care systems are increasingly turning to Managed Entry Agreements (MEAs) to facilitate access to high-cost biologics. These agreements may feature price-volume discounts, dose-capping agreements with drug makers, or outcomes-based contracts.

European health care systems are increasingly turning to Managed Entry Agreements (MEAs) to facilitate access to high-cost biologics. These agreements may feature price-volume discounts, dose-capping agreements with drug makers, or outcomes-based contracts. A paper published in Frontiers in Public Health examined how a pharmacist at the Department of Abdominal Oncology at the National Cancer Institute of Naples participated in evaluating the economic impact of improving the Italian registry of high-cost drugs, particularly bevacizumab, cetuximab, panitumumab, and trastuzumab. The pharmacist worked with clinicians from 2016 to 2017 to gather patient data, evaluate eligibility criteria, monitor the drugs dispensed, track disease status, report adverse events, and provide followup. The pharmacist also managed reimbursement requests with drug companies. The authors found that for bevacizumab, most of the reimbursement increase was attributable to MEA activity, and the increase was directly linked to more careful monitoring and more timely submission of requests for reimbursement to pharmaceutical companies through the MEAs. The authors observed, "Improving the management of MEA-related issues could represent a successful strategy in the 'real world' to improve reimbursements and finally reduce the costs of biologic drugs."