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. Caldwel, Chris K. Guerin, Jeff Steinhoff, Zahid Ahmad, Rubina Singh, Kathleen Moreo, Jeffrey Carter, Cherilyn L. Heggen, Tamar Sapir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy


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