The FasterCures Track July/August 2014: Thinking from a payer’s perspective

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How value is determined and by whom has tremendous repercussions on the ability of patients to access lifesaving therapies and for the medical innovation ecosystem to thrive. In light of this, we have structured our Value and Coverage program to look into how the medical research community can have a better understanding of the evidentiary standards that payers consider when reimbursing treatment and care. We explore the role medical research stakeholders, including patients and patient groups, could and should play in providing a framework for an informed discussion about healthcare coverage decisions. To start, we've created some resources designed to bring everyone up to speed on some of the fundamental aspects of the reimbursement landscape.

The topic of value and coverage continues to receive additional attention. Ernst & Young's annual biotechnology report states that to meet the increasing standards necessary to demonstrate value of life sciences products, "companies should initiate conversations that seek payer feedback and should ensure they are collecting data that matters to payers." The report states that sponsors should ideally seek payer feedback early to optimize and refine their clinical strategies, and develop the data necessary to convince other payers. These practical suggestions align with how we’re framing our Value & Coverage program.

Also this past month, we convened leaders from across sectors in medical research and delivered a strong message to Capitol Hill: to accelerate medical progress, we need to encourage and incentivize public-private partnerships, particularly the emerging consortia model. Read below for more about the robust panel discussion that covered the unique value proposition of these partnerships, the complex scientific challenges they can address, and the power of engaging various sectors, including industry, academia, patients, and government.


MargaretMargaret Anderson
Executive Director
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Program Highlights

FasterCures has a number of programs focused on bringing efficiency to the medical research process by identifying and eliminating the roadblocks that slow medical research down. Read below for the latest updates on several of our programs.


photo of July 22, 2014 Hill briefingEmerging consortia model accelerates progress by addressing shared goals and leveraging existing resources
On Capitol Hill last week, FasterCures brought together leaders from across sectors in medical R&D to discuss the scope and impact of consortia, specifically underscoring the unique role of government in driving these efforts forward to drive progress in the search for cures. As Eric Green of the NIH said, "While I want to be clear about the value of NIH grants, collaborations give the ability to exercise strategic vision. We help craft the vision, but we don’t do it alone." A research consortium brings together multiple, oftentimes competing, organizations to collaborate and share resources to develop a research tool that can be used by all, including researchers not involved in a consortium. In 1997, there were 6 research consortia. Today, there are 393 research consortia. Most consortia leverage the funding, laboratory resources, and expertise from multiple stakeholders including government, industry, nonprofits, and academic organizations. Read the summary. Speakers at last week's Hill briefing included:

  • Marc Bonnefoi, Head of the North America R&D Hub and Vice President of Disposition, Safety and Animal Research Scientific Core Platform, Sanofi
  • ShaAvhrée Buckman-Garner, Director, Office of Translational Sciences, CDER, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Eric Green, Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Angela DeMichele, Co-Leader, Breast Cancer Research Program at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Richard Insel, Chief Scientific Officer, JDRF
  • Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures [moderator]Science Translational Medicine June 25 issue cover
Related link:
For more on this topic, read a FasterCures study, Consortium Sandbox, published in the June 25 issue of Science Translational Medicine, which noted that consortia respond to the growing need for broad-based partnerships to address shared scientific, regulatory, or reimbursement challenges.



21st Century Cures Initiative graphicScores of organizations respond to 21st Century Cures Initiative
More than 100 organizations, including FasterCures, submitted comments to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee in response to its 21st Century Cures Initiative. Respondents included patient advocacy organizations, nonprofits, academics, professional societies, and industry. The comments focused on such themes as coordinating research, incorporating patient perspectives into regulatory decision-making, best practices for clinical trials, and value and coverage. Keep up with this developing effort:

The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN)

Just released: FasterCures' updated inventory of 60 TRAIN foundations
Did you know that participating organizations of TRAIN funded $750 million in medical research grants in the past year? Check out the updated TRAIN Inventory and see what's new with medical research's most innovative nonprofits. The inven
tory is designed to help you better understand the landscape of nonprofit disease research foundations and engage in meaningful partnerships with them.
2014 TRAIN Inventory graphic


Benefit/Risk Webinar graphicView Webinar archive: ‘Would you take a drug that could kill you? Understanding benefit-risk assessment in pharmaceutical products’
Nearly every decision in healthcare R&D and delivery distills to weighing benefits and harms. From pharmaceutical companies' laboratories and boardrooms to FDA reviewers' offices, and from physicians' exam rooms to patients' bedsides, the tradeoffs of expected positive effects and potential adverse reactions are considered against population risk and personal preference. We examined this multifaceted topic in a one-hour Webinar with experts who reflected key perspectives. Participants learned about how benefit-risk drives decision-making and emerging efforts to factor patients' preferences into these assessments.

Partnering for Cures

Registration now open for medical research's most forward-thinking event
Registration is now open for Partnering for Cures, to be held Nov. 16-18 in New York. This year’s speakers cover the medical research spectrum, including leaders from the NIH, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, European Commission, Goldman Sachs, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Sanofi, and PTC Therapeutics. The agenda features panels that will address mission-critical issues in the life sciences – from patient engagement to the future of academic research, from research-by-consortium to data sharing and transparency, and from collaborative capital to redefining impact. And we are now accepting applications for Innovator Presentations, due Aug. 22, from cross-sector research collaborations.

Innovator deadline graphic


MMRF works to identify new standards of care in multiple myeloma
Walter Capone quoteCheck out our Innovator Spotlight on Walter Capone, president and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). He discusses how MMRF is identifying new potential standards of care in multiple myeloma through its CoMMpass study, the cornerstone of the MMRF precision medicine initiative. This latest profile is part of a series on innovative individuals who lead some of the most creative consortia in medical research.

Learn more about FasterCures Programs  |  Upcoming and past speaking engagements
Tools You Can Use

Value and Coverage issue briefsDownload our Value and Coverage issue briefs
Do you want to better understand the payer landscape? Then check out three issue briefs from our Value and Coverage program, which help explain payer strategies and how patient perspectives can shape productive discussions about value.

Until next issue
If you have questions or would like more information about any of the items above, please contact