Cancer has surpassed cardiovascular disease as the number one cause of death in middle-aged adults in several countries, according to a recent study involving more than 160,000 individuals from 21 countries. The research was published in early September in The Lancet. While the study did not include the U.S., cancer has surpassed cardiovascular disease in about half of the states in the nation as well.
To tackle cancer, a diversity of innovative drugs and diagnostics will be needed. Payers, drug manufacturers, and regulators will all have a role to play but will need to collaborate on a solution, according to a representative of Precision for Value, a marketing agency with a team made up of healthcare professionals who previously held decision-making roles at PBMs, health plans, IDNs, employer groups, and specialty pharmacies.
Payers, manufacturers, and regulators will need to collaborate on a solution or the result may go one of two ways: affordable medication with no innovation or plenty of innovation with a dwindling ability purchase it.
Jeremy Schafer, a senior vice president at Precision for Value, shares his thoughts about how the healthcare industry can work toward lowering cancer deaths and how recent legislative moves could impact innovation but also how manufacturers need to show value to payers as well as patients. Schafer’s areas of expertise are in specialty medications and oncology, payer management of pharmaceuticals, and cost-effectiveness modeling.
“To lower cancer deaths, multiple avenues should be pursued but most importantly a focus should be on prevention (reduced smoking, etc.), earlier diagnosis and treatment, and affordable access to emerging therapies with improved survival over existing regimens,” he says. “Each stakeholder in healthcare has a role to play by providing education and engagement with patients to impact modifiable risk factors, identify cancer earlier, and ensure appropriate therapies are chosen for the best possible outcome.”
An alignment of value is key.