Impact of Prescription Drug Reference Pricing on Drug Spend and Utilization

ACPE UAN #:  0233-0000-20-049-H04-P

Release Date:  October 22, 2020

Expiration Date:   October 22, 2023

Activity Type:    Knowledge-based

Contact Hours:   1

Activity Fee:  Member:  $15        Non-Member:  $30

Target Audience: Pharmacists who practice in managed care settings.

Activity Description

Prescription drug reference pricing is an emerging pharmacy benefit management tool that aligns plan reimbursement to clinical value. Through it, benefit plan sponsors pay a single reimbursement rate for drugs that have been shown to be viable therapeutic alternatives to one another. Each therapeutic class has a specific reference price drug that is selected after a rigorous evaluation of clinical evidence and Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee review/approval. The use of prescription drug reference pricing is an established practice in European countries with national health insurance plans. Fragmentation of benefit plans and the complexity of drug pricing and reimbursement has limited the application of this value lever within the United States.

Studies have been published studies that have demonstrated the value of drug reference pricing as a method to manage drug spend, and some managed care organizations have taken notice. This session will focus on how prescription drug reference pricing has worked in Europe and how some organizations in the United States are using this methodology as well as their results. The session will also highlight how to operationalize prescription drug reference pricing some barriers to implementation.

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Summarize recent research that demonstrates the impact of drug reference pricing on prescription drug spend and utilization in the United States.
  2. List four prescription drug reference pricing essential business processes.
  3. Describe how drug reference pricing works in concert with other pharmacy benefit management levers.
  4. Discuss potential barriers to implementing a prescription drug reference pricing program. 

Schedule of Educational Activity:

This activity consists of an audio recording, pre-test assessment questions (not required to pass to continue), post-test questions (required to pass with a score of 70% or higher), and a specific activity evaluation.

Accreditation Statement:

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education

As an accredited provider, AMCP strictly adheres to the ACPE Standards for Commercial Support and other relevant guidelines and standards to ensure the independence of continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities.  AMCP intends that all CPE activities be independent, objective, balanced, evidence-based, and free of any commercial bias.

CPE Requirements:   

Participants should claim CPE credit for this home study activity only if they have not claimed credit for the live activity presented at AMCP Nexus 2020 Virtual.


CPE credit will be processed through the AMCP Learn portal and reported directly to CPE Monitor.  Please allow 72 hours for processing and posting in your National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) e-Profile account.

To receive credit for a home study activity you must:

  • Review the full content of the home study activity.
  • Complete the post-test and achieve a score of 70% or higher.
  • Complete a specific activity evaluation.

System Technical Requirements/Viewing Requirements

Courses and continuing education activities are delivered via your Web browser and Acrobat PDF.  For all activities, you should have a basic comfort level using a computer and navigating websites. View the minimum technical and system requirementsfor all continuing education activities. 


Credit Information

Activity Number Credit Amount Accreditation Period
ACPE UAN #0233-0000-20-049-H04-P 1 Contact Hour October 22, 2020 - October 22, 2023