Therapeutic Categories and Value
By: Dean Summerfield, DPhil | August 21, 2014
One of the added complexities around defining the value of a treatment option is that it is dependent on the therapeutic category and the disease one is trying to address. Because of population size, current demand, and proven profitability of competing products, the value of some treatment categories are far easier to quantify than others.
In our recent report, we asked stakeholders how easy or difficult it is to quantify the value of different treatment categories. Here’s what we found out.
Everyone agrees that Alzheimer’s is a difficult category to quantify.
There was an almost unanimous agreement that defining the value of treatments for Alzheimer’s is very difficult to do, which makes sense. There are currently no products or available treatments to give long-term relief to Alzheimer’s sufferers, and therefore looking at the efficacy, quality of life or long-term benefit of a untried Alzheimer’s treatment, without the benefit of comparable options, is extremely difficult to do.
Biopharma loves rare disease treatments – payers not so much
There was some disparity in the ease of defining value, based one where a stakeholder fell in the healthcare system. For rare orphan diseases, only a third of Biopharma executives felt it would be difficult or very difficult to define the value of a treatment. However, among US and EU payers considering these often high-priced products, nearly two-thirds felt that defining value is a very difficult thing to do.
Payers love a diabetes treatment, but it’s a crowded market for Biopharma
On the other side are the more common disease areas such as diabetes, a chronic condition affecting many people. Most payers and providers felt that defining value in the diabetes category was quite straightforward, but a majority of Biopharma executives felt it was a very difficult thing to do.
This is where we see the challenge of comparative effectiveness. Payers and providers are looking for better outcomes for a large population. If a diabetes treatment delivers incremental improvements over the competition at a reasonable cost, that’s an easy value statement to quantify. But for Biopharma, it is a well-explored disease category, and trying to prove the comparative difference of a new product in this space is much more challenging to do.
Oncology treatments easier to evaluate in the EU
When looking at oncology treatments, we saw an interesting global divergence. Almost half of the E.U. payers feel it is relatively easy to define value for a new oncology treatment. But only 15% of Biopharma executives and 18% of U.S. payers believe they could easily define the value of these treatments. This is perhaps a reflection of the public versus private healthcare structure in these two regions.
Ultimately, the data demonstrates that payers and providers are drawn to treatments that offer incremental improvements over the long term, while Biopharma is interested in revolutionary solutions that address unmet medical needs in innovative new ways.
Both areas are relevant and necessary, but this disparity suggests the industry will continue to struggle for a long time as it tries to define value across all therapeutic categories.
You can learn more about Quintiles research into the value proposition by downloading Value is the Target.