AMCP Launches New Addiction Advisory Group

Alexandria, Va., March 28, 2018 — The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) this month held the kickoff meeting of its newly formed Addiction Advisory Group (AAG), which will continue AMCP’s ongoing efforts to promote best practices that improve addiction prevention and treatment services.

AAG is comprised of more than 20 national leaders from a wide range of organizations, including behavioral health organizations, outpatient treatment centers, nonprofit advocacy groups, health plans, pharmacy benefit management companies, specialty pharmacies, employers, hospitals and biopharmaceutical manufacturers. The AGG is sponsored by Alkermes, Inc. and Precision Diagnostics.

In 2016, roughly 11.8 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids, including 11.5 million who abused pain relievers and 948,000 who were heroin users, according to a September 2017 report from U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“The abuse of opioids and other illicit drugs is a national crisis,” says AMCP CEO Susan A. Cantrell, RPh, CAE. “Managed care pharmacy has an important role to play in addressing this epidemic. The AAG will continue AMCP’s ongoing work in this area and we’re confident that this effort, along with others, will have a positive effect.”

The AAG advances the work started in 2015 by AMCP’s Addiction Treatment Advisory Group (ATAG), which released a 2016 report, “The Role of Managed Care Pharmacy in Improving Access to Naloxone.” According to that report, managed care organizations could improve access to naloxone and support patients with substance use disorder in various ways, including by ensuring naloxone is available on formulary and without refill limitations; using value-based tier placement to ensure appropriate access; and working with local partners to increase naloxone dispensing in community settings and with hospitals. Read the full report at

The AAG’s planned activities include gathering stakeholder insights to understand what is driving payer coverage decisions for addiction treatment and collecting and disseminating addiction prevention and treatment best practices. The AAG also will continue to provide guidance on educational programs, webinars, conferences and resources to support communication around addiction prevention, treatment, access to naloxone, appropriate prescribing and dispensing. Findings and recommendations will be shared broadly and made available as resources for AMCP members and the health care community.