The Rising Demand for RWE
In light of our recent acquisition by IMS, Privacy Analytics’ value as the provider of de-identification and anonymization software and services has never been more vital than when you consider its application in Real World Evidence Solutions (RWES) and the rising demand for RWE.
Proving the Value of Medications
Over the past two decades, the cost of providing healthcare in western nations has skyrocketed. In 2015, U.S. national health expenditures were projected to reach $3.2 trillion, an increase of more than 440% from 25 years earlier.
Of all healthcare expenditures, prescription drug spending is the third largest item after hospital care and physician and clinical services. It was also the fastest growing line item in the National Health Expenditures in 2014 due to higher spending on new medications and only a small number of brand-name drugs losing patent protection. Prescription drug expenditures now total just shy of $300 billion annually. And in 2014, the fastest growing line item in the National Health Expenditures was prescription drug spending, which grew at 15x the rate of annual inflation. The steep climb in costs has put greater scrutiny on the value provided by prescription drugs.
Healthcare payers – governments, private insurance companies and individuals – have become increasingly price sensitive and are questioning whether the money spent on medications is leading to better health outcomes. Overall population health indicators, like longevity and obesity rates, are not improving despite the rising costs. As a result, healthcare stakeholders and biopharmaceutical companies are turning to real-world evidence (RWE) to provide proof of a medication’s value.
RWE uses data gathered from patients in the real world – or real world data (RWD) – to support decision-making around drug use and safety. Hospitalization data, electronic medical records (EMRs) and claims databases from healthcare insurers are just some of the sources of information that contain data on millions of patients. Leveraging this individual patient-level data (IPD) lets biopharmaceutical companies use information gathered across the continuum of care to better understand the long-term impact of a medication on the population as a whole.
As with any secondary use of protected health information (PHI), the use of RWD to answer questions about a drug’s safety, efficacy or value must heed privacy concerns. When a patient’s data is used for a purpose other than primary care the information needs to be de- identified in order to protect their privacy. While a number of methods can be used to de-identify PHI, a comprehensive de-identification solution that can deal with various types of data is needed since RWE can use many different data sources. Traditionally, pharmaceutical companies have used RWE to enhance what is learned from clinical trials, but they are finding new and innovative ways that it can be applied in drug development. Realizing this opportunity requires de-identified patient data that can provide meaningful analysis. A data de-identification pipeline that uses risk-based de-identification is the cornerstone for an RWE platform. This method delivers the rich, granular data required to inform clinical development, market research and physician targeting and detailing.
This is the first piece of our new blog series on RWE. Next week: The Limitations on Learning from Clinical Trials.
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