Med-tech

Real Endpoints’ RxScorecard™ predicted launch failure of major new anti-cholesterol drugs

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2016

Analysis from 2015 showed that because PCSK9 inhibitors had not proved more than incremental value for most patients, payers would dramatically restrict their usage. Poor Q4 sales show that’s exactly what happened. Westport, CT, February 11, 2016 In a press release issued July 7, 2015,  Real Endpoints LLC (RE) predicted that the two soon-to-be-launched PCSK9 inhibitors from Amgen and Regeneron/Sanofi would not get substantial market uptake. RE based this conclusion on its proprietary tool RxScorecard™, which assesses the relative value of marketed and pipeline drugs from a patient’s and payer’s point of view. RE defines value as a full assessment of a drug’s efficacy, safety, convenience, adherence and economic attributes in comparison to other therapies in the indication. RxScorecard indicated that while both products offered potential efficacy benefits, they demonstrated little incremental value for most patients because of their lack of meaningful outcomes data at launch and their expected high pricing. As a result RE said last July that “Payers will have an extraordinary opportunity to control costs in this class.” That’s exactly what they did. Now that Q4 sales are in for both Praluent and Repatha, the magnitude of their launch failure is clear. Praluent sold only $7 million in Q4; Amgen has not released data on Repatha,...

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‘DrugAbacus’, a Comparative Cancer Drug Pricing Platform Powered by Real Endpoints’ RxScorecard™, is Launched

Posted on Friday, June 19, 2015

Westport, CT, June 19, 2015 – Real Endpoints (RE) is pleased to announce that its RxScorecard™ is the information technology platform supporting Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s DrugAbacus – an interactive tool for considering the basis of cancer drug prices. Conceived by Dr. Peter B. Bach, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), DrugAbacus was launched at www.drugabacus.org. MSK’s DrugAbacus generates a dollar-value for cancer drugs available in the United States (beginning in 2001 with Gleevec) based on a user’s settings for six different domains of potential value including the treatment’s survival benefit, side effects, and the incidence of the condition targeted. Memorial Sloan Kettering licensed the Real Endpoints RxScorecard platform for research purposes so users can generate “Abacus prices” and compare them with actual prices of these drugs at the time of launch in a visual and intuitive format. “We believe RxScorecard is the only tool available that provides a 360 degree comparison of the multiple components of a drug’s value in an independent, objective and systematic approach. We developed the IT platform to make it very easy for users to access our analysis, and are delighted that Dr. Bach selected this platform for DrugAbacus,” said Julie Eskay Eagle, RE’s Vice...

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Wall Street Journal publishes article on new cancer pricing tool from Memorial Sloan Kettering using RE’s RxScorecard technology

Posted on Friday, June 19, 2015

June 19, 2015 – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the nation’s top cancer hospitals, has created an interactive calculator that compares the cost of more than 50 cancer drugs with what the prices would be if they were tied to factors such as the side effects the drugs produce, and the amount of extra life they give patients. Please click here to access the article....

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Zeke Emanuel: Re-Incentivizing Pharma & Device Companies to Solve Technology’s Data Problem

Posted on Friday, September 28, 2012

Zeke Emanuel would like to set the record straight. He’s not against new medical technology. Indeed, the UPenn med school and Wharton professor calls the profusion of industry-generated new technologies “a great thing”. But his support is necessarily tempered — a wariness born from his days as a health policy advisor in the Clinton and Obama administrations. Emanuel’s willingness to critique newer, costlier innovations that deliver results no better than older, cheaper technologies has made him a lightning rod for critics who argue he’s in favor of rationing (as well as death panels, which he was famously accused of inventing as part of his role in fashioning the Affordable Care Act). He also happens (with another dozen and a half similarly influential panelists) to be a speaker at the Real Endpoints Symposium on Nov 1-2 in Philadelphia. The unfortunate truth, says Emanuel, is that advances in healthcare technology have generally not delivered the kind of productivity benefits Moore’s law describes in computer processing. But that won’t always be so. Future technologies, he believes, will not only increase the quality of healthcare, particularly in areas which haven’t seen much progress, but also “lower costs and do it more efficiently.”  That double goal is “what technology is supposed to do…we just...

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The Healthcare Round-Up: May 27 – June 1

Posted on Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pick up your jumbo pack of toilet paper –and health insurance too. What started as a quiet partnership between club warehouse wholesaler Costco and insurance giant Aetna has now expanded to include relationships in nine states with two more pending approval.  Two years ago, the two joined forces to provide Costco Personal Health Insurance, a health insurance program that offers consumers five options in terms of medical and dental coverage.  Costco sees the tie-up as a means of both diversifying into new product areas and providing “value” to customers via access to a provider network of more than 500,000 primary care and specialty physicians, discounted pharmacy drugs, and online wellness tools and programs. (The other big box store making serious noise about moving into healthcare is Walmart.) For Aetna, the expansion of the partnership shows its commitment to the so-called retail insurance market. One of the underpinnings of the Affordable Care Act is the individual mandate and creation of health insurance exchanges to provide consumers with medical benefits outside the confines of traditional employer-sponsored insurance. Many insurers believe that their future growth depends on enrollment in these exchanges; Aetna has been among the most aggressive in inking alliances or mergers that allow improved benefit designs for exchange users. And...

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The Healthcare Round-Up: 2/21- 2/28

Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weight-loss drug gets advisory committee nod: Can the benefits of weight-loss outweigh the potential costs of severe medical side-effects? An FDA Advisory Committee thinks so. On Wednesday February 22, the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 20 to 2 to approve Vivus’s Qnexa, a weight-loss pill that combines two previously approved—and now generic—drugs, phentermine and topiramate. It’s been a long and torturous road for Vivus; the company’s backers believe the strong advisory committee meeting increases the odds of a positive nod from the agency by the drug’s April 17 PDUFA date. (And they are trying to capitalize with a February 28 public offering of 8.5 million shares of common stock.) Certainly, with one third of the population struggling with obesity, it’s a fair bet FDA will be under some pressure to approve the medicine: after all, the data show Qnexa can sheer off up to 10% of a person’s weight. Moreover, the biotech has mitigated some of the side-effect risks by proposing a REMS to monitor birth defects and a post-market cardiovascular study. Let’s assume Qnexa will be approved by mid-April. That leaves two central questions unanswered. First, how will Vivus price the drug? Second, how will payers, who typically steer patients to diet and exercise for weight-loss,...

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The Healthcare Round-up: 2/14 -2/21

Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Payers, technology providers, and policy experts are convening in Las Vegas for the annual HIMSS fest to discuss how IT will enable new delivery models and payment reforms that are supposed to improve quality of care and lower costs. The experts are just hoping that what happens in Vegas –from the secure transfer of patient data via iPads and smart phones to the latest technology enabling health information exchanges—won’t stay in Vegas. Meantime, here’s a look at the top reimbursement-related news of the past week. ICD-10: Better Late Than 2013?  One topic that is top of mind for HIMSS attendees: Health and Human Services’ decision last week to delay implementation of ICD-10, more specific coding rules designed to reduce fraud and abuse and ease the sharing of health data with agencies outside the US. The new system – boosting the number of procedure codes from 14,000 to 180,000 — was due to come into force in October 2013. Now it’ll be later than that, though how much later is unclear. Never mind that most of Europe has already implemented ICD-10 and that ICD-11,  a more updated set of codes, is due to roll out in 2014; US providers simply aren’t ready for a change that is costly both in...

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ICD-10: A Gift for Product Makers

Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011

There’s been a lot of talk about the migration from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and what’s going to happen in October 2013 when we jump from a medical coding system with around 18,000 codes to one with around 8 times that number. In theory, the more precise mechanism to account for diagnoses and procedures provided by the federally mandated 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases should improve cost management, budgeting, and outcomes research while reducing fraud and abuse. But the cost of implementing ICD-10 is also a subtle — albeit short-term — gift to product makers. Let me explain. Recall that with payment reform, we are moving toward a system of bundled payments where monetary incentives help providers deliver the most efficient – and lowest cost – care to patients. This move away from fee-for-service has a direct impact on product makers.  Many specialist physicians haven’t really had to think too much about the cost of products – choosing instead, for example, the implant they individually prefer rather than what might be the most cost-effective option.  But as part of a group that gets paid on the basis of total cost effectiveness and quality, the higher the product cost, the lower the profit to be shared. As such,...

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