BURLINGTON, Mass., May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources Group finds that managed care organizations and cardiologists alike believe accountable care organizations (ACOs) will reduce costs and improve outcomes for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and atrial fibrillation (AF). A survey of 100 non-interventional cardiologists and 42 managed care organization (MCOs) pharmacy and medical directors revealed that ACOs are driving up generic drug prescribing for AF and ACS. However, these entities also place high value on positive hospital-related outcomes, providing an opportunity for drug marketers to highlight clinical aspects of branded therapies that increase compliance and reduce cardiac complications that lead to hospital readmissions.

Other key findings from the U.S. Physician & Payer Forum report entitled The Impact of ACOs on Prescribing for Acute Coronary Syndrome and Atrial Fibrillation: Actionable Insights from U.S. Payers and Prescribers:

  • Medical and drug cost savings: Cardiologists and MCO pharmacy directors/medical directors anticipate medical and drug costs savings of up to 21 percent for ACS and AF, and more than two-thirds of surveyed cardiologists are paying more attention to cost-effectiveness data since joining their ACOs.
  • Outcomes achieved by ACOs: A majority of surveyed MCOs and cardiologists cite reduction of preventable hospitalizations and increased prescribing of generic drugs as outcomes achieved by ACOs. These metrics are among the most likely to be tied to provider compensation in an ACO.
  • Prescribing of generics: As a result of the focus on drug costs, a vast majority of MCO pharmacy directors/medical directors say physicians are prescribing generic drugs to a greater percentage of beneficiaries or will do so in 12 months. But ACOs are largely neutral as to their encouragement or discouragement of branded therapies.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Chris Lewis:

  • "ACOs drive prescribing to generics that are market mainstays, most often clopidogrel for ACS and warfarin for AF. Otherwise, our survey indicates that ACOs neither discourage nor encourage other specific treatments for ACS and AF. Drug marketers should be able to prove their case that their products should be preferred because of the ability to reduce costs and improve outcomes."
  • "Most MCOs and surveyed cardiologists participate in ACOs or plan to do so by 2015, and they expect these organizations to take on more of the financial risk—including prescription drugs—for the health of their assigned patient populations. Given that MCOs expect more ACOs to eventually develop separate drug formularies, it behooves drug marketers to start laying the groundwork for preferred product placement, including honing in on the clinical advantages that enhance compliance and keep patients out the hospital.

Upcoming webinar:

  • Media members are welcome to attend our upcoming webinar based on this report entitled Acute Coronary Syndrome and Atrial Fibrillation: How the Trend to Accountable Care is Affecting Prescribing Decisions. This presentation will be held on Thursday, June 26, 2014. For more information, please contact Christopher Comfort at ccomfort@dresourcesgroup.com.

About Decision Resources Group

Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on critical issues within the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Find out more at www.DecisionResourcesGroup.com.

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For more information, contact:
Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort

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