John Watkins, MPH, PharmD leads the formulary development program at Premera Blue Cross, overseeing health technology assessment, formulary and medical policy review and drug information support to medical and nursing staff. Since 2009 he has led Premera’s value-based formulary project, which assigns drugs to copay tiers according to incremental cost-utility thresholds. He is Affiliate Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Washington and advises the student Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) chapter.
He has BS, MPH and PharmD degrees from the University of Washington, completed a two year hospital pharmacy residency at Group Health Cooperative and is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist. Prior to joining the Premera pharmacy team, Dr. Watkins worked as a community pharmacist, hospital pharmacist in Nepal, inpatient medicine pharmacist and drug information pharmacist at Group Health and Associate Pharmacy Director at Regence BlueShield. It was in Nepal that he first became interested in the problem of managing scarce resources to maximize value of pharmacotherapy to individual patients.
Dr. Watkins is a member of the ISPOR Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Task Force and the North American HTA Roundtable. He is also a member of the AMCP Format Executive Committee, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical Advisory Panel and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) Methods Advisory Group.
ISPOR VISION Statement by John Watkins, MPH, PharmD
Over two decades ISPOR has grown and matured to fill an international leadership role at a critical moment in history. As we witness amazing advances in science and medicine, national economies around the world struggle to bear the rising cost of health care. Genetics and genomic medicine will add further challenges. Simply put, our science has surpassed our economic resources. In the US, the public does not acknowledge resource constraints. European nations face similar struggles across a variety of health systems and management philosophies. We need to share and learn from others’ experiences. ISPOR provides a perfect venue, bringing together thought leaders from every continent except Antarctica. It is a place where economic theory, research methodology clinical science and health policy meet.
ISPOR can play a key role in articulating the concept of value, together with pharmacy organizations like AMCP and ASHP, medical societies like ASCO and NCCN, and providers like Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We must also share experiences with colleagues from other parts of the world, learning what works in each setting and how it might be adapted to help others.