ISPOR 2020: do we have sufficient health economics data for digital therapeutics? Economic evaluation abstract highlights

What research was due to have been presented at the 2020 ISPOR Annual Meeting (18–20 May)? We summarize our abstract highlights, available to view online, focusing on economic evaluation and cost–effectiveness analyses.

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Here, we share our abstract highlights, due to have been presented at the annual meeting, focusing on health economics and cost–effectiveness analyses! All abstracts are available to view online here>>


Abstract highlights:

Do we have sufficient health economics data concerning digital therapeutics?
How do HEOR data impact payers’ formulary coverage in the USA?
What is the total economic burden of chronic red blood cell transfusions for patients with sickle cell disease?


Do we have sufficient health economics data concerning digital therapeutics?

Digital therapeutics deliver software-generated interventions directly to patients to treat and/or manage a disease; whilst utilization of these therapeutics in healthcare is evolving, there is a lack of data regarding their efficiently and effectiveness at improving patient outcomes. In this study, investigators from Eversana (MA, NC and CA, USA) reviewed the current landscape of health economics data concerning digital therapeutics, to help better understand methodological challenges associated with assessing their value.

Of 243 studies pertaining to the economic evaluation of digital therapeutics, 235 were excluded, leaving only eight that met the pre-defined study inclusion criteria. Although five of these eight studies ultimately concluded the digital therapeutic in question to be cost effective, the time horizons used in these studies were relatively short and the analyses did not fully capture the quality-adjusted life years or cost associated with the therapeutic.

In the abstract, the authors concluded: “Although clinical evidence for digital therapeutics is growing, this study demonstrates health economic evidence associated with digital therapeutics is inadequate. Future research should prioritize generation of real-world evidence and facilitate improved measurement of patient-centered and value-based outcomes in economic evaluations of digital therapeutics.”

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How do HEOR data impact payers’ formulary coverage in the USA?

Researchers from CBPartners (NY, USA) have investigated instances where health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) data from manufacturers spurred changes in US payers’ formulary coverage.

Researchers observed instances when HEOR data both positively impacted payers’ formulary coverage – such as in the case of tiotropium bromide for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and when these data failed to drive reform in coverage. Ultimately, investigators concluded that there is significant heterogeneity in how US payers incorporate HEOR data into their formulary access decision-making processes and studying these evolving perceptions of HEOR data could help reconcile underlying rationale shaping value perceptions.

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What is the total economic burden of chronic red blood cell transfusions for patients with sickle cell disease?

Individuals with sickle cell disease – a group of inherited blood disorders – are at increased risk of experiencing strokes; chronic red blood cell transfusions are recommended for stroke prevention in individuals with sickle cell disease. However, there are a number of health risks associated with these chronic transfusions – including iron overload and infections – which require ongoing monitoring and can be associated with significant economic burden. In this study, conducted by researchers from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (PA, USA), IBM Watson Health (MA, VA and CA, USA) and Global Blood Therapeutics (CA, USA), investigators conducted a retrospective analysis of Medicaid and IBM MarketScan Commercial claims data to determine the total economic burden of chronic red blood cell transfusions for patients with sickle cell disease.

Researchers determined the total annualized transfusion-related cost, per patient per year – including costs relating to the transfusions themselves, potential additional iron chelation therapy and liver MRIs – to be US$60,863 and US$97,709 for individuals on Medicaid and Commercial plans respectively. This is substantially greater than the cost associated with the blood transfusions alone and the authors conclude that new therapies, which focus on improving hemoglobin levels, may help to reduce transfusion frequencies as well as costs.

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The Evidence Base is proud to be partnering with ISPOR to bring you coverage of the event, including plenary summaries, exclusive interviews with speakers and more! Check out our dedicated channel to view the latest coverage>>

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