Info for Authors | AJPB

The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits (AJPB) publishes peer-reviewed research that examines the impact of formulary management strategies on the utilization, cost, and quality of pharmacy services. The Journal presents case studies, research, and evidence-based tools to help decision makers develop clinical strategies to manage pharmacy benefits for large populations. Areas of particular interest include utilization management strategies (ie, prior authorization, step therapy, generic substitution, etc), outcomes research on Medicare Part D, formulary development and implementation strategies, research on adherence and compliance, cost sharing strategies (ie, copays, coinsurance, CDHPs, HDHPs, etc), cost utility analyses, economic burden of disease, and comparative effectiveness analysis of drug therapies.

To provide pharmacy and formulary decision makers with the information they need to improve the efficiency and health outcomes in managing pharmaceutical care.

The Journal circulates to approximately 20,000 individuals with important decision-making responsibilities affecting the inclusion and tier placement of drugs on formularies. As the official publication of Specialty Healthcare Benefits Council, the Journal is distributed to the Society's 5000 members, as well as medical directors, pharmacy directors, corporate benefits managers, and other healthcare professionals across these 6 market segments: 1) HMO/PPO/IHOs; 2) hospitals; 3) long-term care; 4) PBMs; 5) VA/government; and 6) employers.

Requirements for all submissions generally conform to the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals."1

Manuscripts submitted for publication in AJPB must not have been published previously (either in whole or in part) nor currently be submitted elsewhere in either identical or similar form. Authors must indicate in the cover letter whether any portion of the manuscript has been presented at meetings and are required to submit copies of related publications (either published, in preparation, or submitted), as well as any manuscripts cited as "in press" to the editors for review.

The editors are pleased to consider manuscripts on a wide range of topics related to the Journal's mission. Submissions generally fall into one of the following categories: (1) original research; (2) review articles; (3) commentaries; (4) brief reports; (5) editorials; or (6) letters to the editor.

Original research articles should be <3000 words (excluding abstract, references, tables, etc) and contain no more than 5 graphic elements. Supplemental data (extra tables, figures, or appendices) will be made available on the Journal's website ( at the time of publication. Review articles should present a thorough synthesis of the literature and offer new insights and/or recommendations on how to improve the standard of care. Commentaries are brief (<1500 words) opinion pieces-usually solicited from recognized thought leaders-that discuss pertinent and sometimes controversial issues in healthcare. Brief reports should provide descriptive data or case analysis of current trends in the healthcare system. These reports should be <2000 words and contain no more than 2 graphic elements. Editorials (<1000 words) are solicited to accompany key articles and either extend or offer opposing perspectives on a specific subject. Letters are published as space allows and should be <500 words, contain no more than 1 table or figure, and cite no more than 6 references.

All manuscripts must be submitted through our web-based manuscript submission and peer-review system. Log on to and follow the step-by-step instructions to submit your manuscript to AJPB for consideration.

Our peer review process is blinded, so all identifying information (ie, author names, affiliations, etc) must be removed from the text. To facilitate this blinding, we ask authors to provide 2 separate title pages-one that lists all identifying information (unblinded) and one blinded title page.

All authors must read and sign 2 forms. The first is the Journal's Authorship Form ( AJPB uses the criteria provided by the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" to determine authorship. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to (a) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data; and to (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on (c) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions (a), (b), and (c) must all be met. All authors are required to read and sign the Journal's Authorship Form affirming that they have met the criteria for authorship and have agreed to transfer copyright to The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits/Managed Care & Healthcare Communications, LLC. Individuals who have contributed to a paper but who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be acknowledged.

The second form all author must read and sign is the Journal's Author Disclosure Form ( It is our policy to have all authors disclose relationships with any commercial interest that may present a conflict of interest if: (a) the relationship is financial and occurred within the past 12 months; and (b) the author discusses products or services of that commercial interest. Relevant financial relationships are those relationships in which the author (and/or the author's spouse or partner) benefits in any dollar amount by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (eg, stocks, stock options, or other ownership interests, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles, such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and/or other activities for which remuneration is received or expected. In addition, authors are required to report all financial and material support for their research, which includes (but is not limited to) grant support and funding sources and any provision of equipment or supplies.

The name of the organization funding or initiating a research project should be made explicit on the title page (eg, "This study was funded by the XYZ Corporation."). Relevant financial relationships (whether direct to the authors or through a third party) for research and/or writing, including funding, grants, honoraria, etc, must also be named on the title page. If the funding organization had any role in the collection of data, its analysis and interpretation, and/or in the right to approve or disapprove publication of the finished manuscript, this must be noted in the cover letter and described in the Methods section of the text. The editorial staff may inquire further about financial disclosure after the manuscript is submitted. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, disclosure statements will be printed as part of the published paper.

Both forms should be included with submission. Forms can also be sent to e-mail: or Please be sure to include the manuscript title, author's names, and/or manuscript number in your e-mail.

All manuscripts should include the following components:

Title. Titles should be concise (fewer than 10 words) and stimulate reader interest. The title page should include the following information:
  • the complete manuscript title and running title
  • the full names of each author, followed by their highest academic degree
  • the name, address, telephone, fax, and e-mail information of the corresponding author
  • the institutional affiliations for each author at the time the work was completed
  • indication of the source of funding (including grant numbers, grant agencies, corporations, or sponsors)
  • the number of pages, references, figures, and tables
  • a word count (excluding references, tables, and figures)

Abstract. An abstract is required for all manuscript submissions. The abstract should not exceed 250 words and should consist of 5 paragraphs entitled: Objective, Study Design, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

Text. All text should be double-spaced, including the acknowledgments, references, tables, and legends (see "Manuscript Preparation" section for length restrictions). Cite references, tables, and figures in sequential order in the body of the paper. Any abbreviation or acronym must be spelled out in full when it first appears in the text, followed by its abbreviation in parentheses per American Medical Association (AMA) style. State the generic name (not the trade name) for all pharmaceutical products.

References. It is the responsibility of the authors to complete and verify all references. References should conform to the AMA Manual of Style.2 Cite references in the text sequentially as a superscripted number after any punctuation mark. Two references are cited separated by a comma, with no space. Three or more consecutive references are given as a range with a hyphen.

**If a referencing program has been used during the drafting of the manuscript (eg, EndNote or Reference Manager), please disable before submitting.**

Per AMA style, number references sequentially in the order they appear in the text (do not alphabetize author names). Identify references with superscript Arabic numerals. References cited only in tables or figures should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first mention of that particular table or figure in the text. Begin the reference list on a new page. List all authors and/or editors up to 6; if more than 6, list the first 3 followed by "et al." Journal references should include the issue number in parentheses after the volume number. Journal names should be abbreviated according to the journal's list in PubMed.

References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as "in press" and included in the reference section. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source. (Include copies of any "in press" and "submitted" manuscripts [ie, papers under consideration at other journals] for the editors' evaluation as part of your submission.) Avoid citing "personal communication" unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person, his or her degree, and the date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text. Authors should obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of a personal communication (see "Permissions" section). In text, do not use footnotes; instead include them in parentheses in the body of the manuscript. (Footnotes should only be used in tables and figures)

Reference Style Samples: 1. Garber A, Goldman DP, Jena AB. The promise of health care cost containment. Health Aff (Millwood). 2007;26(6):1545-1547.

2. Wynia MK, Schwab AP. The value equation: the decision-making process should be sensitive to value. In: Ensuring Fairness in Health Care Coverage: An Employer's Guide to Making Good Decisions on Tough Issues. New York, NY: AMACOM; 2007:131-149.

3. The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. Why not the best? Results from a national scorecard on U.S. health system performance. Published September 2006. Accessed November 13, 2006.

Graphic Elements. Judicious use of graphic elements (tables/figures) is strongly encouraged, as space in the Journal is limited. The Journal will print only essential tables and figures (no more than 5 combined graphic elements).

Tables. Place each table on a new page. Number all tables sequentially in the order they are cited in the text. Include a title for each table. All acronyms must be defined at the bottom of the table. Footnotes should be identified using superscript letters a, b, c (not asterisks or special symbols) and explained in a footnote to the table. Please submit tables in an editable format, ie, Word of Excel (not as picture).

Figures. Place each figure on a new page. Figures are generally redrawn by our production team. Avoid the use of shading in bar graphs or pie charts (use color or crosshatch patterns instead). Number all figures sequentially in the order they are cited in the text. Include a title for each figure. All acronyms must be defined at the bottom of the figure. Footnotes should be identified using superscript letters a, b, c (not asterisks or special symbols) and explained in a footnote. Any previously published figures must be accompanied by written permission from the publisher and/or copyright holder (see "Permissions" section).

Supplemental data (eg, appendices and/or lengthy tables) will be posted "as is" on the Journal's website at the time of publication. Authors should indicate what material is intended for supplemental content and include the appropriate reference or callout in the text to these elements.

Data and/or figures reproduced from another published source must be properly cited and acknowledged. Authors are required to obtain written permission from the appropriate author and/or copyright holder to reproduce previously published or copyrighted material. Authors must also obtain permission from at least 1 author when citing unpublished data, "in-press" articles, and/or personal communications. Copies of permission statements should be uploaded with manuscript submissions.

We acknowledge receipt of all manuscripts via email and assign each a unique, confidential manuscript number. The Editorial Office will not release any information about the status of a manuscript to anyone who does not provide the manuscript number.

Although reviewer selection is ultimately the decision of the editors, authors may provide the names and e-mail information of preferred and nonpreferred peer reviewers. Manuscripts deemed appropriate for the Journal will be sent to external peer reviewers. Typically, a manuscript will be sent to a minimum of 2 reviewers who will be asked to provide feedback on the scientific merit of the paper.

We judge manuscripts on the interest and importance of the topic, the intellectual and scientific strength, and relevance to AJPB readers. We also consider the strength of the paper compared with other papers under review and the number of accepted and previously published papers on a specific topic.

The Editorial Office is committed to providing prompt processing times and to communicating timely decisions to authors. While the Editorial Office makes every effort to notify authors and keep them informed of any delays, most authors can expect a first decision on their manuscript in approximately 2 months.

Page proofs (PDFs) are e-mailed to the corresponding author before publication. Authors can expect to receive proofs approximately 1 to 2 weeks before the scheduled issue date. All proofs must be returned to the Editorial Office within 48 hours.

1. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: writing and editing for biomedical publication. Updated October 2007. Accessed March 6, 2008.

2. Iverson C, ed. Ethical and legal considerations. In: American Medical Association Manual of Style. 10th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2007:125-300.

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Revised: June 25, 2013
Copyright AJMC 2006-2018 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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