Reimbursement and Payer Management of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Reimbursement and Payer Management of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

  • November 2018 •
  • 80 pages •
  • Report ID: 5780168 •
  • Format: PDF
Payers are concerned about the budget impact of immunotherapies

As immune checkpoint inhibitors continue to gain approvals in expanded patient populations, interviewed payers express concern surrounding the potential budget impact of the drug class. Considering the high costs of these treatments in comparison to standard chemotherapy, HTA and reimbursement agencies stress the requirement for solid survival data and highlight that price will be a major factor during negotiations.

Price-volume and expenditure ceilings are frequently used across Europe

Price-volume and budget ceiling agreements are becoming increasingly popular for immunotherapies in France, Italy, and Spain, and payers in other European countries may follow suit in the future. These arrangements have been used in the past for high-impact indications such as hepatitis C; however, payers are imposing these spending caps more explicitly in the case of immunotherapies. Payers indicate that further cost-control mechanisms could be introduced for immunotherapies in the future, including per patient caps on pricing implemented at an indication-by-indication level.

Price reductions are frequently required following label expansions into new populations

Label expansions of immune checkpoint inhibitors into new treatment lines consistently trigger new pricing and reimbursement assessments across Europe, with many of these assessments leading to price reductions or new price-volume agreements based on increased patient numbers and budget impact. Furthermore, considering the rising competition among the immunotherapy drug class and the growing overlap in patient populations, companies are having to price their therapies strategically to facilitate reimbursement and patient access versus competitors, while maximizing overall revenue.

Immunotherapy drugs present an opportunity for contracting, but payers await more competition

Immune checkpoint inhibitors present an attractive target for future contracting due to the high budget impact of the class. However, products must be deemed therapeutically equivalent across a wide breadth of indications before these practices can take place. Therapies that gain approvals in the most prevalent indications are expected to be at a significant advantage when it comes to contracting, as payers will be able to negotiate higher discounts across more expansive patient populations.

Combination therapies pose challenges for payers as many markets do not have a clear path for HTA and price negotiation

Payers are likely to implement new strategies to manage price negotiations for immunotherapy combinations in the future. Mechanisms allowing for the negotiation of different prices for combinations are absent at the moment, but several payers report that the establishment of new tools is likely to emerge in the near future. The new tools will be used to ensure that the cost of individual components is lower when used in combination compared to use as a monotherapy, and as a result the maximum net price that can be achieved will be lower.