Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Announces 2011 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy Award for Excellence

Best Article Goes to Researchers from Express Scripts

Honorable Mention Goes to Researchers from WellPoint and HealthCore

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is pleased to announce the winners of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy (JMCP) 2011 Award for Excellence. The top award goes to a team of researchers from Express Scripts, Inc., and honorable mention goes to a team of researchers from WellPoint, Inc. and HealthCore.


The winning article, "Discontinuation Rates and Health Care Costs in Adult Patients Starting Generic Versus Brand SSRI or SNRI Antidepressants in Commercial Health Plans," was published in the March 2011 issue of JMCP. The authors, who were employed by Express Scripts at the time of the research, are: Anna Vlahiotis, MA, Senior Manager, Health Services Research; Scott T. Devine, PhD, Director, Health Services Research (currently Outcomes Research Scientist at Merck & Co.); Jeff Eichholz, PharmD, Director, Clinical Programs; and Adam Kautzner, PharmD, Director, Clinical Programs.

"This article was selected for the 2011 Award because of its high relevance to managed care pharmacy in the study of clinical and cost outcomes in the important therapeutic area of major depressive disorder," said AMCP Chief Executive Officer Edith A. Rosato, RPh, IOM. "This study adds to our knowledge of the clinical comparability of generic and brand antidepressants and supports fundamental managed care interventions including therapeutic selection, step therapy, and prior authorization."

The study of patients with major depressive disorder found that drug therapy discontinuation in the first six months of initial use was not significantly different for users of generic versus brand selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Similar clinical outcome at six months for generic and brand SSRI/SNRI users was accompanied by lower costs for users of generic SSRIs/SNRIs in all four measures studied: (1) antidepressant drug costs, (2) total drug costs, (3) depression-specific total health care costs, and (4) all-cause total health care costs.

The adjusted mean antidepressant drug costs for patients and payers with generic SSRI/SNRI were 44% lower than brand SSRI/SNRIs over the six-month follow-up: ($174 for generic compared with $309 for brand). The adjusted mean overall pharmacy costs were 21% lower for generic versus brand ($761 vs. $965, respectively). The generic versus brand SSRI/SNRI users also incurred 29% lower depression-specific total health care costs ($803 vs. $1,125, respectively) and 20% lower all-cause total health care costs ($3,660 vs. $4,587, respectively).

This article adds to the literature in support of the comparative effectiveness of the most commonly used generic versus brand antidepressants, and this study assessed thoroughly the patient and payer costs in drug-specific and total disease-specific, as well as all-cause health care costs.

The article can be found at

The 2011 honorable mention was awarded for "Analysis of the Comparative Effectiveness of 3 Oral Bisphosphonates in a Large Managed Care Organization: Adherence, Fracture Rates, and All-Cause Cost," which was published in the October 2011 issue of JMCP. This article was written by researchers employed by WellPoint and HealthCore at the time: Karen E. Martin, PharmD, MBA, CGP, Senior Drug Information Specialist; H. Eloise Campbell, BS, PharmD, Senior Drug Information Specialist; Jacob Abarca, PharmD, MS, Outcomes Research Scientist; T. Jeffrey White, PharmD, MS, Director, Drug Evaluation and Clinical Analytics; Jingbo Yu, MHA, PhD, Senior Research Analyst, HealthCore, Inc.

The judges selected this article because of its assessment of the comparative effectiveness of three bisphosphonates using multiple measures including medication adherence and fracture rates, as well as all-cause total health care costs. As with the award-winning article, this research assessed patient and payer cost by using health plan allowed charges.

This article is available at

Criteria for the JMCP Award for Excellence is as follows: potential impact on the profession or knowledge (30%); scientific merit and sound methodology (30%); relevance to managed care pharmacy today (20%); clarity of purpose and hypothesis (10%); and writing quality and readability (10%).

"A panel of seven judges drawn from the ranks of the highest-quality JMCP peer reviewers evaluated 13 articles that were nominated this year by members of the JMCP Editorial Advisory Board," said Frederic R. Curtiss, PhD, RPh, CEBS, Editor-in-Chief of JMCP. "The award recognizes the article published in each calendar year that represents the best scholarly work in managed care pharmacy."

The 2011 JMCP Award for Excellence will be presented at the AMCP Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in San Francisco, California.

For more information on the JMCP Award for Excellence, visit the JMCP section of the AMCP website at

About AMCP
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) is a national professional association of pharmacists and other health care practitioners who serve society by the application of sound medication management principles and strategies to improve health care for all. The Academy's more than 6,000 members develop and provide a diversified range of clinical, educational and business management services and strategies on behalf of the more than 200 million Americans covered by a managed care pharmacy benefit. For more information, visit

About JMCP
The Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy is a peer-reviewed journal, with 9 publication dates per year: separate issues for the months of March, April, May, June, September, and October and combined issues for January/February, July/August, and November/December. JMCP content, including supplements, is indexed by MEDLINE/PubMed, the International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA), Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), and Current Contents/Clinical Medicine (CC/CM).

SOURCE Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy