Discussing clinical challenges with David Baker, Pharm.D., Director of Clinical Sales

Apr 28, 2023

A pharmacist by training, David Baker, came to Abarca by way of leadership roles at some of the industry’s most recognizable organizations. Here’s what David is watching:

Tell us about your background

I’ve been fortunate to have a variety of experiences in the managed care pharmacy industry–including at health plans, other PBMs, and solution providers. Each of my past positions has provided new opportunities to learn.

In my role at Abarca, I am looking forward to leaning on my experience and leveraging my background to help our company continue to innovate and provide unique value to the marketplace.

What are the biggest clinical challenges that plans are facing today?

The challenges haven’t changed very much, but we have new ways to address them. For example, payers need to make sure patients with common chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, are receiving the treatments they need and are taking their medications as intended. The complications stemming from these conditions are costly and can have serious health consequences–but they can be avoided with proper care.

This, however, is often a lifelong commitment. So, having solutions that engage all stakeholders in supporting these patients is key–and Abarca is positioned to do just that.

We are also watching the growing challenges of high-cost specialty medications. To navigate this turbulent environment, payers need to have partners that are dedicated to optimizing the care of patients on these medications.

At Abarca, we’re working with specialty partners that provide best-in-class care and spearhead innovative drug contracts that hold manufacturers accountable for the expected outcomes of these medications.

A new generation of specialty medications — and gene therapies, in particular — are coming to market with extraordinarily high prices. How can Abarca help plans deliver these clinical breakthroughs to patients who need them economically sustainably?   

This question is top of mind for all health plans and employer groups. And Abarca is bringing our clients numerous avenues to protect their economic interests while increasing their members’ access to the latest treatments. These include value-based arrangements and offering risk protection or additional insurance on these therapies.

What does seamless and personalized healthcare mean to you?

To me, seamless and personalized healthcare means that patients no longer bear the burden of coordinating their own care.

Instead, the responsibility of finding the right medication, ensuring coverage, and/or explaining one’s patient history will be handled seamlessly between providers, payers, and PBMs and on the patient’s behalf. That way, consumers can focus on following the regimen prescribed for them and getting well.


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