Consultant, Pricing & Market Access
The conversation was framed with an acknowledgement that healthcare systems across the globe face a number of key challenges, including growing deficits, elderly populations, longer life spans and rising healthcare costs. Central to the discussion were the need for solutions that ensure patient have access to truly innovative treatments, while simultaneously meeting tight budget constraints.
It is clear that across the industry, intelligent data, meaning data that can be leveraged to make more informed decisions, and early planning for payer evidence generation, are integral to the solution. There is a plethora of data available currently, but intelligent integrated data needs to be designed to make a difference; this can come in diverse forms- many of which were explored in the conferences.
Innovation in Real World Data collection
For Real World Data (RWD) collection, there was much talk of innovative methods to gather patient information and efficacy outcomes and decrease siloed data. ICON shared how wearables and shareables such as Fitbits and Higi stations (in the US) can be incorporated into trials to lower costs and to improve the ease of gathering real world data.
Other devices such as ingestible sensors, which give real time information on compliance as well as medication effectiveness, and patient-reported outcomes websites such as patientslikeme were also discussed as potential data collection methods. Additionally, a representative from the NHS of Scotland spoke about how industry could learn a thing or two from their intelligent design of data collection services, which is linked across primary care, hospital records and prescribing/dispensers for all patients.
Consider commercialisation early on
With the need to reduce budget impact, but with more crowded pipelines than ever before, payers at the conferences reminded the industry that they will need to make decisions on which therapies they will fund. Payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers alike highlighted the importance of forethought around determining if there is an unmet need in intended indications prior to development. Additionally, industry will need to ensure that trials are designed with payer value in mind.
This means considering the evidence needs of all key decision-makers including patients, with each market’s HTA approach and decision-making criteria in mind. Conference discussions served as a reminder to the industry that hurdles to favourable pricing and market access are only set to increase, emphasising the importance of planning for reimbursement and commercialisation from early in the development lifecycle and taking a cross-functional approach to trial design and evidence generation.
Cross-functional cooperation is the key to success
The conversations at the conference reaffirmed there are no simple answers to solve these complex issues, but one thing is certain: a comprehensive evidence strategy approach that integrates trial design and the use of real world evidence, and addresses key stakeholder perspectives will be increasingly important to ensure commercial success. Only cross-functional and cross-stakeholder cooperation will ensure that patients will benefit from innovative life changing treatments.