register

News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Beyond the dollar sign: Why are policymakers still ignoring the true value of cancer treatments?

Health Industry Hub | September 28, 2023 |

Pharma News: In recognising the societal and economic value of cancer treatments, Rare Cancers Australia (RCA) and Canteen joined forces to launch the new report Counting the Cost: Unveiling the True Value of Investing in Cancer Treatment*. This release is a follow-up to the 2022 report that revealed an astonishing $3.06 of social and economic value for every dollar invested in cancer treatments.

The objective of this report is to demonstrate how to implement changes within the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) that enable us to reap the benefits of Social Return on Investment (SROI), by assigning a monetary value to the aspects people value most.

Plum Stone, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Rare Cancers Australia emphasised the significant potential of the current HTA Review. She reiterated the critical need to factor in a broader understanding of the value of cancer treatments, highlighting the diverse impacts on patients and their families that go beyond traditional metrics.

Richard Vines, CEO of Rare Cancers Australia, shed light on the genesis of this report, inspired by a heart-wrenching encounter with a breast cancer patient in Kuala Lumpur. He voiced the cost of inaction, saying “If we don’t think about keeping current with health technologies and treatments, there’s going to be a huge downside cost. We need to work out a way to value it, stop gnashing our teeth at the cost and start looking at the benefits.”

Peter Orchard, CEO of Canteen, amplified the urgency of the issue and called for a comprehensive evaluation “to change the way we cost pharmaceuticals so we genuinely count all the impacts that cancer has beyond employment and whether someone can be in a job or not.”

Sharing her personal journey as a a mother, lawyer and cancer survivor, Lillian Leigh stressed the invaluable impact of cancer treatment investments on families and society. She shared her daughter’s accomplishments, highlighting the immeasurable value of being present for life’s milestones.

“When we say ‘quality of life’, the measurement is very limited. How can my life as an active mum and a taxpaying professional be measured and summed up in a number between zero and one?” she voiced, referring to the current Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) evaluation of cost-effectiveness.

“Why are we not considering a broader value of cancer treatments?” she asked a PBAC representative in a recent discussion. “Her response indicated that the assessment of the value of medicines remains confined to the boundaries of the health budget. Is it time for that to change? Beyond this report, is it time for a Productivity Commission inquiry?” she questioned, urging a shift beyond the confines of conventional metrics.

During the panel discussion, Fiona Pearce, HTAi Co-Chair of Patient and Citizen Involvement Group (PCIG), shed light on the challenges hindering the seamless integration of broader value perspectives into current HTA procedures. She stressed that while many countries explore diverse value considerations, effectively incorporating them remains a challenge.

“We’ve started the conversation for change a while ago and we need to keep raising the voices to make sure that it’s eventually heard,” she said.

Australia could certainly learn from HTA processes in the UK, Canada, and Singapore. They too encourage patient and consumer engagement; however, they are far more conscientious in providing feedback to consumers on their contribution. That is something we have not implemented in Australia yet.

“We know the social benefits of treatment are important, but how do we measure it? This report answers that long-standing question. It provides an actual metric that allows us to make more informed decisions through SROI. This is not something that is happening anywhere else. It’s a mechanism that would allow Australia to lead, and we should not be frightened of that. We can’t wait for the rest of the world to catch up,” Mr Vines explained.

The panel also delved into concerns regarding the ongoing lack of transparency in the current HTA review process that is of significant frustration to key stakeholders. They debated the need for a legislative value framework to future-proof the system and guide discussions on funding new health technologies.

Mr Vines commented “If I was to deliver one message to the MPs in Canberra, it would be that it’s not your money. It belongs to every person who makes a taxpayer contribution. We entrust it to you to steward and provide us with the best possible healthcare. We collectively deserve a voice in how that’s being done.”

The report strives to initiate a transformative conversation, urging policymakers to integrate a more comprehensive evaluation of cancer treatments.

Mr Vines told Health Industry Hub “We would like to see social impacts on the agenda in the considerations of the HTA Review. We would also like to see a commitment to feedback to patients and consumers on their contribution to the HTA process. A commitment to embrace transparency on any level of the HTA Review would also be welcomed.

“We want to build a fairer, more equitable and responsive system for all Australians living with cancer. We introduced this concept of measuring the true value of investing in cancer treatment last year, and we will continue to pursue it until it gets realised.”

*RCA acknowledged financial support, given without pre-condition or editorial input, from industry partners including AbbVie, Amgen, Antengene, AstraZeneca, Bayer, BeiGene, BMS, Gilead, GSK, Ipsen, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, Servier, MSD, Lilly, Janssen and Takeda.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the ONLY one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

The exclusive leadership and influencer podcasts and vodcasts add huge value to our breaking news coverage. The content on Health Industry Hub is copyright protected and should only be accessed under individual user licenses. Please click here to subscribe and visit T&Cs here.


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Manoj Saxena - Bayer

Breaking the mold: Bayer GM on the future of pharma workplaces – Reimagining Healthcare Senior Leadership Series

Health Industry Hub | July 18, 2024 |

In the latest episode of the Reimagining Healthcare senior leadership series, Manoj Saxena, General Manager Pharmaceuticals ANZ at Bayer voiced […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Matt Zeller, Country President of Novartis ANZ

Novartis Country President talks essentials in shaping the future of health policy: Reimagining Healthcare senior leadership series

Health Industry Hub | July 18, 2024 |

In this episode of the Reimagining Healthcare senior leadership series, Matt Zeller, Country President of Novartis ANZ, explores how health […]

More


Medical

First guidelines to stamp out rising scientific integrity issues in medical journals

First guidelines to stamp out rising scientific integrity issues in medical journals

Health Industry Hub | July 18, 2024 |

The number of retractions issued for scientific research articles in 2023 exceeded 10,000 – smashing annual records. To date, publishers […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Gilead secures MSAC nod for CAR-T therapy

Gilead secures MSAC nod for CAR-T therapy

Health Industry Hub | July 18, 2024 |

Pharma News: Gilead Sciences welcomes the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) recommendation for public funding of Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) as […]

More


This content is copyright protected. Please subscribe to gain access.