Posts Tagged oncology
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship, Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on January 12, 2018
JPM 2018 and concurrent events just ended with what may be one of its biggest draws. As many as 10,000 people from life science industry and its related sectors are likely to have descended upon the city, during last four days. In addition to JPM event itself, everything health was under review and up for discussion at various conferences including at EBD Group & Demy Colten’s #BiotechShowcase #DigitalMedicine #BTS18 and #WuXiGlobalForum2018 . Networking and deal making continued late in the nights at various receptions held across the city. Receptions by legal firms like #WilsonSonsini #MoFoLLP #ReedSmithLLP attracted some of the biggest crowds.
Overall the tone for 2018, seemed highly optimistic. BiotechShowcase held a media roundup and echoes of optimism were heard from almost all panelists @barbara_ryan12 @TriangleInsight @CarolineYLChen @adamfeuerstein @statnews @SFBIZronleuty @BrittanyMeiling @endpts @juliet_preston @medcitynews @ldtimmerman .
There is a general agreement that the pace of #innovation in biotech greatly accelerated in 2017 and is likely to continue. According to Luke Timmeerman, “sheer velocity of news in healthtech innovation is fascinating”. Transformative therapies across huge and diverse range of diseases are increasingly focusing on cures and going beyond the short term treatment focus. The surge of innovation has been led by focus on oncology although concern was also raised in one of the panels that we still continue to get stymied and realize how friggin smart the disease of cancer is and if we will truly crack the code on cancer in the immediate upcoming years. All signs are however, that next year we may see critical data from some clinical trials in immuno-oncology space that can cause market spikes.
Here are some areas of concern raised in some of the panels. In 2017, a slight dip was observed in the areas of orphan and rare diseases. Also there seemed to be a general consensus that we need smart policies that incentivize new anti microbial drugs and other treatments for infectious diseases. Due to increasing resistance of antibiotics, there is an ongoing and real fear for some of the infectious diseases to turn into pandemics. These are areas that bold entrepreneurs may focus on. Also medical devices continues to remain somewhat underfunded. Discussions around accelerating healthcare costs and drug pricing issues creeped over into many panels. Entrepreneurs with disruptive pricing innovation in product development as well as healthcare can easily have a tremendous leverage. It can’t be overstressed that finding effective pricing solutions holds key to continued and sustainable growth in healthcare sector.
Discussion in one of the panels focused for a few minutes around large investments in life sciences and if that indicated a healthtech bubble that may be due for a crash. Indeed, some experts observed that pace of 2017 is unlikely to continue and there may well be a slight dip in 2018. But overall the consensus seemed to be, that a steep and deep pipeline of innovation in R&D is likely to prevent a crash, and the venture funding blizzard is likely to continue. Overall, the feeling among investors and healthcare experts was that among the industry, there is a strong focus on science and people are pursuing innovation with discipline that will ensure unprecedented mechanisms and novel medicines. All this activity is taking healthcare to a new level of cures and sustainability and stability from temporary treatment focus. Exciting indeed to be living in this era of amazing healthcare innovation.
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on May 24, 2012
Ellen Licking, writer and analyst for Real Endpoints, a start-up focused on providing objective information about product reimbursement, discussed “what cancer pathways mean for biopharma industry at http://www.bio2devicegroup.org.
Cost containment in healthcare has emerged as a significant issue and the payers are looking at big cost diseases like oncology to find more effective care options. The use of cancer care pathways is emerging as a strategy to focus on providing efficient care, while also containing costs. Results from existing “cancer pathway” pilots underway at national and regional insurers are becoming available in 2012 and are shedding light on the use of evidence-based medicine to improve outcomes and lower costs. In Europe, they discuss rationing of care. But in the US, it is a more complex issue, given the diversity of stake holders and the necessity for implementing politically appropriate language and behaviors.
Cancer pathways provide an evidence based-approach to care that is based on efficacy (how well the treatment works), toxicity (how toxic is the treatment), and cost. In the event that two drugs provide similar efficacy and toxicity, then the choice comes down to cost. Clear winners for reimbursement, in this approach, are efficacious drugs; for products that are as good, the choice is made based on price. First and foremost, this approach is designed to reduce the existing wide variation in care. Second, it aims to improve outcomes with focus on treatments that provide the greatest survival benefit and the lowest toxicity. Third, these care pathways would contain cost, based on scientific evidence of best care.
These pathways are not commandments in that payers are not mandating providers adopt a certain pathway. To get buy in from physicians, payers are considering waiving the right to prior authorization and programs that allow doctors to share in any financial savings. In one study, the data indicated 35% cost savings for on-pathways patients compared to those not on pathways, while showing no difference in survival outcomes. Real world cost savings, at least initially, are expected to be more modest in the 10-15% range. However, even these savings would greatly contain costs. Cancer pathways are small but growing quickly. Currently, there are an estimated 29 programs in place from a variety of payers. One concern has been that the pathway approach may change how oncologists are paid. Most oncologists are paid in relation to the amount and cost of drugs they prescribe. If payer savings translate into dramatic pay cut for oncologists then it would become challenging to get their buy in. Besides pathways, a few payers are experimenting with episode-of-care, which pays oncologists a single payment for treating patients during a specified treatment period.
What ARE the implications of these changes for THE biopharma industry? Given the dreaded oncology diseases, the treatment programs have traditionally been treated with kid gloves. But under this strategy, there will be clear winners and losers and treatments that are not efficacious will be dropped to make room for possible newer treatment options. While finding winning oncology drugs have always been challenging and will continue to be challenging, in the pathway driven world, it will also be more difficult to establish best in class drugs. Licking offered the recommended options for biopharma industry that include, maintaining focus on first in class drugs given the advantage to first to market, redefine meaning of best in class based on not just clinical efficiency but based on endpoints important to payers, in consideration of efficacy, to focus on price in addition to quality of life issues, and consider risk-sharing schemes that are tied to adherence medtrics or provide clear cost information such as Astrzeneca’s single payment scheme for Iressa. The talk generated a great deal of interest and discussion and was followed by Q&A. Ellen Licking can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org; You can learn more about Real Endpoints at http://www.valueandinnovation.com .