I was personally very motivated to start Haddock Research after seeing Jim Lawless speak at the EphMRA Conference in 2007. Indeed, Jim used me as one of his case studies in the first edition of Taming Tigers, published the following year.
As you think about your plans for 2016 (and beyond), consider how precious your time is.
This 6 minute video provides a great introduction to the lengthy and difficult approval process for drug coverage in public healthcare in Canada. It is provided by Amgen Canada via a site called PolicyMatters.ca. If you watch the video you can see that the video looks to raise issues about the high proportion of drugs which are not approved, and how strict the regulation is for drugs compared to other healthcare costs.
Yet it is very important to take account this video is talking about public healthcare coverage. There is also a significant private healthcare sector in Canada where drug access tends to be much faster, and more likely to be approved – especially for open formularies. Around two-thirds of private plans are open formulary which would accept any Health Canada approved medicine (although there is a trend towards having more closed formularies in the private healthcare sector). I believe that a crucial factor in the slow and difficult process of getting drugs publically covered in Canada is that once they are, there is no cost to the patient (at least for drugs administered in hospitals). For private plans, there is a significant patient co-pay, with various tiering levels, which can help moderate demand for a drug, and encourage cost-effective lines of therapy.
When I am working on a Canadian study, it is quite typical to have some of the new innovative medicines only available to the private sector (usually through insurance but sometimes with an out-of-pocket cash payment). Public coverage is indication-specific, varies by province and may need ‘special authorization’ – e.g. to limit drug usage by lines of therapy and patient type.
DrugCoverage.ca is my ‘go to’ resource to find out the coverage status of any drug, and an overview of the rules for each province. To search a drug, use the MEDICATION SEARCH box in the upper-middle of the screen.
The ISPOR conference held in Montreal earlier this month was a really worthwhile event to attend – especially as it was in my home town. I found the Saturday workshops about pricing extremely useful, as were a number of papers bringing me up-to-date with the latest thinking about analysing Big Data in Healthcare, use of health economics in personalised medicine and risk-sharing agreements. There were also some interesting poster sessions (e.g. on the pricing of orphan drugs in the US).
I am looking forward to attending ISPOR in May/June this year, which is being held in my home town of Montreal. It looks a very interesting agenda, at a very reasonable price, and hopefully a chance to catch-up with some pharma friends.
Here are a list of the events and papers that I am planning to attend:
Saturday, May 31
- Elements of Pharmaceutical/Biotech Pricing I – Introduction
- Case Studies in Pharmaceutical / Biotech Pricing II – Advanced
Monday, June 2
- FIRST PLENARY SESSION: THE USE OF “BIG DATA” – WHERE ARE WE AND WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
- IP2: DOES HEALTH ECONOMICS HAVE A ROLE IN THE NEW ERA OF PERSONALIZED MEDICINE?
- PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS: PROVIDING NOVEL APPROACHES TO ENHANCE OUTCOMES RESEARCH LEVERAGING BIG AND COMPLEX DATA
- DETERMINING COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS BENCHMARKS FOR EMERGING TREATMENTS FOR HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV) INFECTION IN THE SINGLE ARM STUDY DESIGN SETTING
- THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF RECOMMENDATIONS MADE THROUGH THE COMMON DRUG REVIEW PROGRAM AT THE CANADIAN AGENCY FOR DRUGS AND TECHNOLOGIES IN HEALTH
Tuesday, June 3
- EMERGING ACCESS BARRIERS AND EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR ONCOLOGY THERAPIES: EXPERIENCES ACROSS THREE COUNTRIES
- SECOND PLENARY SESSION: WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING OBSERVATIONAL DATA AS THE BASIS OF DECISION MAKING IN HEALTH CARE? HOW COULD THIS AFFECT THE FUTURE OF RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS?
- IP9: THE NEXT FRONTIER FOR RISK-SHARING AGREEMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES: DOES THE CHANGING HEALTH CARE LANDSCAPES BRING NEW PROMISE FOR PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN MANUFACTURERS AND PAYERS?
- IP14: VALUE-BASED PRICING ACROSS INDICATIONS: ARE THE CONCEPTUAL AND IMPLEMENTATIONAL CHALLENGES WORTH IT?
- W19: CHOICE DEFINES VALUE: TURNING PREFERENCES OF MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS INTO EVIDENCE FOR HEALTH CARE DECISION MAKING
- CONJOINT ANALYSIS – STATISTICAL ANALYSES, RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS GOOD RESEARCH PRACTICES TASK FORCE
Wednesday, June 4
- IP16: PERSONALIZED MEDICINE IN THE ERA OF BIG DATA: HOW WILL THIS AFFECT YOU?
- THIRD PLENARY SESSION: TO WHAT EXTENT SHOULD VALUE FOR MONEY DERIVED FROM HEALTH ECONOMIC ANALYSIS BE USED IN HEALTH CARE POLICY DECISION MAKING?
- BRIDGING TO COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS: WHAT REALLY MATTERS?
- W25: GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR QALYs: ISPOR’S DANGEROUS OMISSION?
In a fast-moving and competitive commercial environment, we recognise that pharmaceutical market research agencies, and the people who work in them, face ongoing challenges to meet their goals. These challenges can be very practical and immediate, such as helping to run a project within a tight timeline; or more long-term, taking account of how you would like grow your business in a world where research methodologies are evolving so rapidly.
Whatever your requirements, given our experience and range of contacts, we can help. We can provide scalable solutions to almost any challenge – big or small. We aim to deliver solutions which are very cost-effective, with a view to enabling our clients become more successful, and more profitable.