NPC Value Conference Sparks Dialogue to Define, Understand Value in Health Care

NPC President Dan Leonard kicks off NPC's Assessing Value conference.

How do we measure the value of a medical intervention, its benefits to patients, and the associated costs to patients, payers and society as a whole? Hundreds of stakeholders gathered in-person and online to tackle this question at the National Pharmaceutical Council’s Assessing Value: Promise & Pitfalls conference on September 29.

During presentations and panel discussions, patient organizations, payers, providers and biopharmaceutical manufacturers shared their views about existing value assessment frameworks, what steps need to be taken to improve these frameworks, and how to ensure that patients are engaged throughout the development and assessment processes.

NPC President Dan Leonard kicked off the conference by highlighting the importance of bringing stakeholders together for this conversation:

“With so many new life-saving and life-improving treatments for cancer or medicines to treat rare or chronic conditions—it is more important now than ever to be able to capture and communicate the value of these ground-breaking medicines.

“Moving in parallel to these scientific breakthroughs is a massive health care system transition—one shifting from a focus on paying for the volume of health services … to one paying for the value of health benefits accrued to the patient. In this changing environment, how do we measure value? And how can we make sure that patients have a full voice in how value is measured?

“There’s no one right answer.

“A number of organizations have developed value assessment frameworks intended to answer these questions, but the field is relatively young and still evolving. These early value assessments could have a tremendous impact on patient treatment decisions, as well as on coverage and reimbursement decisions. So it’s important for us to bring all health care stakeholders together to help shape the development of value assessment going forward.

“If we get it right, value assessments can be valuable and useful tools. But if we get it wrong, these tools could be used to limit patient’s ability to get the new or innovative therapies they need.”

To date, organizations such as the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Drug Abacus, American College of Cardiology-American Heart Association and the American Society of Clinical Oncology have developed frameworks, which were designed as decision-making aids with different end-users in mind.

As Leonard said:

“That’s an important point to note. One framework cannot meet the needs of all stakeholders. Different frameworks will be needed to answer different questions.

“There is much more work that needs to be done before these frameworks are ready for widespread adoption and use.”

To assist in guiding the field, earlier this year NPC developed and disseminated Guiding Practices for Patient-Centered Value Assessment. The guiding practices set forth some basic guideposts to help developers, such as making sure input from patients and other stakeholders is fully incorporated, using established methods and transparent models and assumptions, using sound, high-quality evidence, and including a broad array of factors that matter to patients and society, among other practices.

Although the conference itself was just one day, the dialogue – and NPC’s engagement with stakeholders—will continue, particularly as the field of value assessment evolves and matures. NPC is proud to play a constructive role in this ongoing conversation.

View the archived video and look for additional conference highlights and conversations on this blog during the next few weeks. To learn more about value framework assessments, please visit NPC’s Guiding Practices for Patient-Centered Value Assessment and Current Landscape: Value Assessment Frameworks.