✦ The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) and health care technology company Aetion are partnering to advance the use of real-world evidence (RWE) in assessing the cost-effectiveness of medicines, STAT reports. Aetion’s database of insurance company claims and related analytics allow ICER to use data generated outside of clinical trials in its evaluations of how drugs perform in the real world. According to Steven Pearson, ICER’s founder and president, RWE could be particularly useful in post-marketing assessments of drugs that were approved under accelerated pathways. Some of those products, especially for cancer or rare diseases, may come to market without large amounts of clinical trial data. ICER, a nonprofit research organization, will not pay Aetion under the terms of their agreement. The benefit to Aetion, the company’s CEO Carolyn Magill says, is in establishing its methodologies as a data standard. See http://bit.ly/2v6a9VG.
✦ On April 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Arkansas’ appeal of a lower court ruling in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) that impacts the state’s ability to regulate PBMs. According to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Act 900 prohibits PBMs from differentially reimbursing affiliated and non-affiliated pharmacies for the same drug. It further requires PBMs to create a pharmacy reimbursement appeals process. PCMA asserted that the law limits health plans’ options and creates administrative burdens for PBMs. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) appealed after a lower court found that the law didn’t apply to employer-funded plans, which are regulated differently from health plans. That ruling was upheld on appeal. Previously, 32 states and the District of Columbia filed a brief in support of Arkansas. Several national and state pharmacy associations also support the state’s position. The high court’s decision is expected in June. Read more at http://bit.ly/2HYFkVm.