John Watkins, PharmD, MPH, BCPS managed the formulary process at Premera Blue Cross from 2000-2019. His responsibilities included health technology assessment, formulary process development, formulary reviews, and medical policy review and providing drug information support to medical and case management staff. He is currently Director of Premera’s PGY1 Managed Care Pharmacy Residency program and Student Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Coordinator. Along with these responsibilities, he manages the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. John is Affiliate Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Washington. His areas of interest include health policy, health technology assessment and application of evidence-based medicine, personalized medicine, economics and bioethics to formulary and coverage decision making processes.
After graduating from the University of Washington (1979) and working as a community pharmacist, John served as a hospital pharmacy director pharmacology instructor for 7 years in Kathmandu, Nepal. He completed a combined MPH degree in Pharmacy and Health Services at the University of Washington (1993) with a residency at Group Health Cooperative, where he later worked as a clinical and drug information pharmacist. Before coming to Premera, he was a pharmacist at Regence BlueShield. He is board certified in pharmacotherapy, and has a PharmD, also from the University of Washington. He is a member of the AMCP Format Executive Committee, the ISPOR North American HTA Roundtable, HTA Council Working Group – Challenges in the Use of HTA in Pluralistic Healthcare Systems and the Precision Medicine SIG. He is a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical Advisory Panel.
John’s interest in formulary systems goes back to Nepal, where he established the first formal P&T committee and developed a combined formulary and drug procurement system serving 30 projects under two separate NGOs. It was there that he first became interested in the problem of managing scarce resources to maximize the value of pharmacotherapy at the patient level.