Oncology: Pathways to Progress - Pharmaceutical Executive


Oncology: Pathways to Progress

Pharmaceutical Executive

Speaking truth to power: agenda for progress

Looney: As a conclusion, can each of you identify the one message to decision-makers outside the industry that will do the most to maintain the momentum of progress against cancer?

Mehmud: More transparency from regulators and especially payers is critical. This is the only way that industry can generate the right evidence at the right time and not be put in the position of having to play catch up post Phase III.

Creighton: Attention within companies has shifted from registration to reimbursement. Companies need to know what the expectations are from payers at a very early stage of the development process. And if governments regard oncology as a public health priority, then it should be reflected in a willingness to help companies secure an appropriate return from their investments in new therapies through predictable, evidence-based access and pricing. In return, companies must do more to educate payers on what is most important to clinicians and the patient about the incremental value of a new medication.

Stein: There is unprecedented opportunity in oncology because of the explosion in our understanding of the molecular roots of the disease. This is reflected in our R&D: most companies today are putting upwards of 30 percent of their development dollar in the oncology space. But this entails a responsibility to be more focused and disciplined in how we spend that money. Society expects that of us, but we all must share in the results.

Fitzgerald: As stakeholders examine how to increase efficiency in the financing and delivery of cancer care, they must begin with an awareness of how much the clinician community has already done to root treatment decisions in evidence-based standards of good practice. We should celebrate the guidelines and pathways that physicians use daily in delivering the best care for their patients. Guidelines act as a barrier against decisions being made arbitrarily, from outside the care community.

Martell: As we develop the potential of personalized medicine in cancer treatment, we need the support of regulators in devising enhanced approval strategies for very small drug indications. A new regulatory pathway is required for drugs appropriate for the micro-sized patient populations we will be able to treat, with a higher probability of success, in the future.


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