AMCP Nexus 2023 – Supporting the Next Generation of Talent

October 25, 2023

AMCP Nexus 2023 is now in the history books, and for Prime Therapeutics/Magellan Rx (Prime/MRx), it was a terrific thought leadership showcase for our health outcomes teams with media placements and blog content (day one and day two) that put our the managed care pharmacy studies in the spotlight.

And while Prime/MRx is proud to elevate this work in pursuit of improving patient access to therapies at affordable costs, AMCP Nexus – and the AMCP Annual Meeting held each spring – is also an important time to identify and nurture the next generation of talent that will make a mark on the managed care pharmacy space in the years to come. As such, Prime/MRx is proud to collaborate with industry partners and mentor pharmacy students to provide real-world research experience.

This year, Natalie Keohane, a third-year pharmacy student from University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, was a AMCP Foundation/Pfizer Oncology Intern, and Simone Ndujiuba, PharmD, BCOP, Director, Clinical Strategy and Innovation, Oncology, served as her internship preceptor.

Natalie split her time between the various organizations, and during her time with Prime/MRx, she attended a variety of clinical meetings and completed projects assigned by members of the MRx Clinical Specialty team. She also participated in an oncology journal club and networked with Prime/MRx leaders to enhance her understanding of managed care and explore career opportunities.

She also completed a capstone project, entitled “An Evaluation of the Total Cost of Care for the Treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma with a Focus on B-Cell Maturation Antigen Targeting Therapies,” which was presented alongside other internship projects at AMCP Nexus.

We caught up with Keohane before the presentation to hear more about her project and her internship:

Prime: Your research poster is “An Evaluation of the Total Cost of Care for the Treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma, with a Focus on B-Cell Maturation Antigen Targeting Agent.” What are some of the key findings from the research?

Keohane: The data is very preliminary, but we found that the majority of the total cost of care is due to the drugs themselves – either Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cells or teclisitamab. Additionally, most of the cost is aggregated upfront, either in the first month or week of treatment. However, the cost of CAR T is all upfront from the single infusion, whereas the cost of teclistamab is spread out over weekly injections, which is interesting to note for stakeholders when evaluating spend.

Prime: One of your self-described strengths is data analysis. Talk a little bit about how you were able to bring this to bear for this research?

Keohane: I was very thankful to have had prior experience with SQL and Excel analysis. Dr. Dave Eckwright is amazing and pulled the claims data, but he was able to explain some of the coding he used with SQL. This helped me really understand how the data was being gathered and therefore how to interpret it. With Excel, I was able to create the waterfall graphs presented on the poster. I was really excited because it showed our data over time and the distribution among the various cost categories. My prior experience really made it easier for me to take the information and transform it into tables and graphs, allowing for clear data and result display.

Prime: This research is clearly more quantitative in nature, but I also know that patient advocacy is something that’s close to your heart. How did your research experience either validate and/or challenge this? 

Keohane: This experience really validated the need for patient advocacy. With my research we only looked at claims data to understand the cost. However, one way to enhance the project would be to look at electronic health data to show the patients’ disease severity and understand which patients would benefit most from these high-cost medications. Patient access to treatment is vital as well. Multiple myeloma is a complicated disease state that has no cure, so focusing on patient-centered needs and wants is important when choosing a therapy that’s right for the patient. If I had more time with this project, I would love to include additional health data to better understand the patient journey.

Prime: Your summer internship was for 10-weeks – what surprised you most during this time?

Keohane: I was surprised at how much I learned and contributed to projects! In addition to my research project, I helped with a few other projects for the Clinical Specialty team. I also attended a ton of new drug update meetings and developed a couple presentations. This internship flew by because it was full of amazing opportunities for me to grow which I am so thankful for!

Prime: How has the research project enhanced your understanding of managed care?

Keohane: The project really illustrated the staggering cost of some medications. I have always heard of drugs that cost half a million dollars, but now I was working with actual claims data that showed these costs – sometimes even higher costs. This helped me understand how and why cost needs to be taken into account, in addition I better appreciated the value of evaluating clinical efficacy when deciding which medications would provide the best value for given patients.

Prime: This will be your first time at AMCP Nexus – what are you looking forward to?

Keohane: I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in person! I am also very excited for the residency and fellowship showcases. It’s going to be awesome to network and hear about future opportunities. But I’m most excited to discuss my research findings. I am really proud of our work – thanks to my amazing preceptors who guided me through the whole process!

Prime: Thanks, Natalie. Congratulations on your internship.


And thanks to our readers for keeping up with all of our coverage from AMCP Nexus 2023. Stay tuned for coverage from the 2024 AMCP Annual Meeting coming this April from New Orleans!

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