CMPI Led Study Shows Value of New Cancer Drugs

  • by: Robert Goldberg |
  • 05/19/2020
Health Economic Research Study Presented at ISPOR, and Published in the Journal Value in Health, Demonstrates Reduction in Total Cost of Care with Increased Use of New Medicines for Treatment of Patients with Pancreatic Cancer

More effective, better tolerated oral therapies for pancreatic cancer may lead to further reduction of burden on the healthcare system
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Tyme Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TYME), an emerging biotechnology company developing cancer metabolism based therapies (CMBTs™), announced the results of a health economic outcomes study demonstrating that the therapeutic benefit of increasing the use of novel medicines is so great that it is driving a decrease in the actual total cost of healthcare. The supporting data from the study are being presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Virtual Meeting held from May 18 to May 20 and published in the Society’s peer-reviewed journal value in Health.

Health technology assessment programs are increasingly using real-world, longitudinal patient data to assess the effect of new medicines on total cost of care. This study analyzed such data to measure the impact of new pancreatic cancer therapies on other, non-drug medical expenditures.

“Our study looked at treatment inflation-adjusted expenses per patient for pancreatic cancer care between 2009 and 2016 and found that for every additional $1 spent on medicines for pancreatic cancer in 2016, there was a reduction in non-drug spending of $8 – $9,” said Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., Vice President and Co-Founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. “The value of advancing and accessing next-generation novel therapies is apparent from our total cost of care analysis looking at both medical and pharmacotherapy costs.”

The study showed that between 2009 and 2016, average inflation-adjusted per patient spending on pancreatic cancer care declined from $37,000 to $10,000. Prescription drug spending increased during the same time period from $2,200 to $6,100 per person (inflation adjusted). In effect, for every additional dollar spent on disease-altering therapies for pancreatic cancer between 2009 and 2016, there was a reduction in non-drug spending of $8 – $9.

Furthermore, there was a decline in the length of stay in hospital settings and a decrease in hospital deaths for this cohort of patients with pancreatic cancer. From 2009 to 2016, the mean length of stay decreased by 1 day. The proportion of deaths in hospitals during that time period also decreased by 2.8%.

The analyses also evaluated hemorrhage complicating a procedure, including Whipple surgeries. Hemorrhages are estimated to occur in 7.2 to 8.5% of those patients who have undergone a pancreatectomy and are associated with longer and more expensive hospital stays. Patients who were discharged from inpatient settings after being diagnosed with a complicating hemorrhage appeared to be routed to less intensive settings of care. In particular, the proportion of those discharged into home health care, as opposed to short term hospital care or another institution, increased by 1.2% between 2009 and 2016.

The study analyzed longitudinal patient-level data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS, 1996 – 2017). The study evaluated 80 patients who had a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and available prescription data. Individual age and employment status were accounted for as covariates. Notably, the data revealed that while prescription medicine expenses have increased as part of the total cost of treating patients with pancreatic cancer over the last ten years, the overall healthcare cost of treating pancreatic cancer patients has gone down.

All analyses were performed using R version 3.6.1 on Ubuntu 19.04. Means and standard deviations were computed for the raw and inflation-adjusted total health care costs excluding drug spending. Study averages were computed for the total health care costs, including prescription medicine costs for the period between 2009-2016 which included approval and/or use of novel treatment approaches such as Abraxane® (nab-paclitaxel), FOLFIRINOX and erlotinib. The prescription medicines expenses, and proportion of healthcare spending were also plotted along with a LOESS curve using the same parameters. All expenditures are adjusted for inflation using 2012 U.S. Dollars.

As a result of this health economic outcomes study, further analysis of a larger, longitudinal set of patient-level data is needed to more fully explore the relationship between spending on medical innovation, and reduction in total cost of patient care, as well as improvements in quality of life.

Details of this study are being presented at the ISPOR Virtual Meeting held from May 18 to May 20. For more information on ISPOR’s virtual program please visit the conference website at:

The health economic outcomes poster on pancreatic cancer presented at the ISPOR virtual conference is as follows:

Title: Using longitudinal patient level data to assess the value of new pancreatic cancer treatments on total health spending.

Authors: Robert Goldberg1, Michele Korfin2, Giuseppe Del Priore2, Semmie Kim2, Vincent J. Picozzi3, M Mandelson3, Victoria G. Manax4

Institutions: Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, NY, NY1,Tyme Technologies, Inc., NY, NY2, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA3, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Manhattan Beach, CA4

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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