Optum, Merck to collaborate on value-based reimbursement models for prescription drugs

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Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Optum, the health services platform of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, entered a multiyear agreement with Merck to link prescription drug reimbursement to patient outcomes.

Here are three things to know.

1. The organizations will use Optum's claims and clinical records data to create and assess valued-based prescription payment models.

2. Optum and Merck will publicly share their assessments of the payment models "to help inform and facilitate the understanding and use of pragmatic approaches to [outcomes-based risk sharing agreements] in the healthcare system.

3. The partnership is the latest in a growing number of valued-based reimbursement collaborations for prescription drug payments. 

  • Bloomfield, Con.-based Cigna has entered seven outcomes-based deals since 2009, according to Bloomberg.
  • Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk recently signed its first pay-for-performance contract with Louisville, Ky.-based Humana for the diabetes treatment Victoza.
  • Novartis, Amgen, Sanofi and Eli Lilly & Co., have also signed similar contracts with various insurers in the past year, according to the report.

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