A regional analysis of payer and provider views on cholesterol management: PCSK9 inhibitors as an illustrative alignment model

Dana McCormick, Deepak L. Bhatt, Harold E. Bays, Pam R. Taub, Kim A. Caldwell, Chris K. Guerin, Jeff Steinhoff, Zahid Ahmad, Rubina Singh, Kathleen Moreo, Jeffrey Carter, Cherilyn L. Heggen, Tamar Sapir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Multiple barriers exist for appropriate use of the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 enzyme inhibitors (PCSK9i) in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) or familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) with inadequately controlled hypercholesterolemia despite standard therapies. Among these barriers, high payer rejection rates and inadequate prior authorization (PA) documentation by providers hinder optimal use of PCSK9i. OBJECTIVES: To (a) identify and discuss provider and payer discordances on barriers to authorization and use of PCSK9i based on clinical and real-world evidence and (b) align understanding and application of clinical, cost, safety, and efficacy data of PCSK9i. METHODS: Local groups of 3 payers and 3 providers met in 6 separate locations across the United States through a collaborative project of AMCP and PRIME Education. Responses to selected pre- and postmeeting survey questions measured changes in attitudes and beliefs regarding treatment barriers, lipid thresholds for considering PCSK9i therapy, and tactics for improving PA processes. Statistical analysis of inter- and intragroup changes in attitudes were performed by Cox proportional hazards test and Fisher's exact test for < 5 variables. RESULTS: The majority of providers and payers (67%-78%) agreed that high patient copayments and inadequate PA documentation were significant barriers to PCSK9i usage. However, payers and providers differed on beliefs that current evidence does not support PCSK9i cost-effectiveness (6% providers, 56% payers; P = 0.003) and that PA presents excessive administrative burden (72% providers, 44% payers; P = 0.09) Average increases pre- to postmeeting were noted in provider beliefs that properly documented PA forms expedite access to PCSK9i (22%-50% increase) and current authorization criteria accurately distinguish patients who benefit most from PCSK9i (6%-22%). Payers decreased in their belief that current authorization criteria accurately distinguish benefiting patients (72%-50%). Providers and payers increased in their belief that PCSK9i are cost-effective (44%-61% and 28%-50%, respectively) and were more willing to consider PCSK9i at the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol threshold of > 70 mg/dL for patients with ASCVD (78%-83% and 44%-67%, respectively) or FH (22%-39% and 22%-33%). Payers were more agreeable to less stringent PA requirements for patients with FH (33%-72%, P = 0.019) and need for standardized PA requirements (50%-83%, P = 0.034); these considerations remained high (89%) among providers after the meeting. Most participants supported educational programs for patient treatment adherence (83%) and physician/staff PA processes (83%-94%). CONCLUSIONS: Provider and payer representatives in 6 distinct geographic locations provided recommendations to improve quality of care in patients eligible for PCSK9i. Participants also provided tactical recommendations for streamlining PA documentation processes and improving awareness of PCSK9i cost-effectiveness and clinical efficacy. The majority of participants supported development of universal, standardized patient eligibility criteria and PA forms. DISCLOSURES: The study reported in this article was part of a continuing education program funded by an independent educational grant awarded by Sanofi US and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to PRIME Education. The grantor had no role in the study design, execution, analysis, or reporting. AMCP received grant funding from PRIME to assist in the study, as well as in writing the manuscript. McCormick, Bhatt, Bays, Taub, Caldwell, Guerin, Steinhoff, and Ahmad received an honorarium from PRIME for serving as faculty for the continuing education program. McCormick, Bhatt, Bays, Taub, Caldwell, Guerin, Steinhoff, and Ahmad were involved as participants in the study. Bhatt discloses the following relationships: Advisory board: Cardax, CellProthera, Cereno Scientific, Elsevier Practice Update Cardiology, Level Ex, Medscape Cardiology, PhaseBio, PLx Pharma, Regado Biosciences; Board of directors: Boston VA Research Institute, Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, TobeSoft; Chair: American Heart Association Quality Oversight Committee; Data monitoring committees: Baim Institute for Clinical Research (formerly Harvard Clinical Research Institute, for the PORTICO trial, funded by St. Jude Medical, now Abbott), Cleveland Clinic (including for the ExCEED trial, funded by Edwards), Contego Medical (Chair, PERFORMANCE 2), Duke Clinical Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai School of Medicine (for the ENVISAGE trial, funded by Daiichi Sankyo), Population Health Research Institute; Honoraria: American College of Cardiology (Senior Associate Editor, Clinical Trials and News, ACC.org; Vice chair, ACC Accreditation Committee), Baim Institute for Clinical Research (formerly Harvard Clinical Research Institute; RE-DUAL PCI clinical trial steering committee funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; AEGIS-II executive committee funded by CSL Behring), Belvoir Publications (Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter), Duke Clinical Research Institute (clinical trial steering committees, including for the PRONOUNCE trial, funded by Ferring Pharmaceuticals), HMP Global (Editor in Chief, Journal of Invasive Cardiology), Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Guest Editor; Associate Editor), K2P (Co-Chair, interdisciplinary curriculum), Level Ex, Medtelligence/ReachMD (CME steering committees), MJH Life Sciences, Population Health Research Institute (for the COMPASS operations committee, publications committee, steering committee, and USA national co-leader, funded by Bayer), Slack Publications (Chief Medical Editor, Cardiology Today's Intervention), Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (Secretary/Treasurer), WebMD (CME steering committees); Other: Clinical Cardiology (Deputy Editor), NCDR-ACTION Registry Steering Committee (Chair), VA CART Research and Publications Committee (Chair); Research funding: Abbott, Afimmune, Amarin, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cardax, Chiesi, CSL Behring, Eisai, Ethicon, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories, Fractyl, Idorsia, Ironwood, Ischemix, Lexicon, Lilly, Medtronic, Pfizer, PhaseBio, PLx Pharma, Regeneron, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, Synaptic, The Medicines Company; Royalties: Elsevier (Editor, Cardiovascular Intervention: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease); Site co-investigator: Biotronik, Boston Scientific, CSI, St. Jude Medical (now Abbott), Svelte; Trustee: American College of Cardiology; Unfunded research: FlowCo, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Takeda. Bays' research site has received research grants from 89Bio, Acasti, Akcea, Allergan, Alon Medtech/Epitomee, Amarin, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Axsome, Boehringer Ingelheim, Civi, Eli Lilly, Esperion, Evidera, Gan and Lee, Home Access, Janssen, Johnson and Johnson, Lexicon, Matinas, Merck, Metavant, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sanofi, Selecta, TIMI, and Urovant. Bays has served as a consultant/advisor for 89Bio, Amarin, Esperion, Matinas, and Gelesis, and speaker for Esperion. McCormick, Caldwell, Guerin, Ahmad, Singh, Moreo, Carter, Heggen, and Sapir have nothing to disclose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1528
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of managed care & specialty pharmacy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy

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