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Surveyed European Oncologists Indicate that Predictive Biomarkers that Identify Patients Most Likely to Respond to Therapies Are a Clear Advantage for Costly Oncology Drugs

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Decision Resources Group finds that biomarker driven prescribing is likely to positively influence perceptions of oncology drugs for both oncologists and payers. Drawing on insights from over 300 surveyed medical oncologists and 15 interviewed payers across the EU5 (FranceGermanyItalySpain, and the United Kingdom), the findings reveal that although an increase in biomarker testing is seen as a likely future event, the incorporation of additional biomarker tests (e.g. PD-L1 expression for non-small-cell lung cancer) into the diagnosis could prove challenging in cost-conscious countries like ItalySpain, and the United Kingdom. Overall, however, surveyed physicians and interviewed payers are universal in their opinion that the market access of a costly novel agent would be significantly aided by the presence of a companion biomarker test. 

Other key findings from the European Physician and Payer Forum report entitled Securing Favorable Reimbursement Status in the EU5 Oncology Markets: Evolving Physician and Payer Perspectives on Biomarker-Driven Prescribing in Oncology:

  • Uptake of emerging biomarker-driven therapies: Considering current reimbursement restrictions, interviewed payers across the EU5 indicate that the price of biomarker-driven therapies, as well as the cost of their companion biomarker tests, will greatly influence the uptake of emerging therapies.   
  • Increasing physician prescribing monitoring: Across the cost-conscious EU5, the monitoring of costly oncology agents’ prescribing is increasing, and as more biomarker-agents become available, biomarker test results are also likely to be included in this monitoring.  
  • Challenges to biomarker testing: Although most surveyed oncologists across the EU5 currently test their patients for the presence of biomarkers such as KRAS- and EGFR-mutations, they indicate that obtaining tumor biopsies of adequate quality and size can limit biomarker testing. Delays in obtaining positive test results and healthcare authority restrictions can have an effect on uptake of biomarker-driven therapies.

Comments from Decision Resources Group Analyst Dana Gheorghe, Ph.D.:

  • “As oncology treatments move towards personalized approaches, predictive biomarkers will have an increasingly important role, allowing the selection of patient populations most likely to respond to therapies. This will avoid the cost of therapy and toxicity in patients unlikely to derive benefit from treatment.”
  • “Physicians and payers across the EU5 see the presence of a biomarker as an advantage; most surveyed physicians across the EU5 indicate that they currently test patients for the presence of biomarkers but also highlight the fact that a more streamlined biomarker testing system—including optimized reimbursement processes—would increase the uptake of biomarker-driven agents even further.” 

Source: PR Newswire