Need for real-world evidence in value-based care could be advantage for pharma

With more physicians employed in larger organizations than private practices, and those larger groups being more likely to be reimbursed through models which involve financial risk, more physicians are looking to real-world evidence to inform their clinical decisions—a shift which could be beneficial for pharmaceutical companies.

According to a whitepaper released by Omnicom Health Group and Capgemini Consulting, 57 percent of the 866 physicians surveyed were part of “organized providers,” such as an accountable care organization, integrated health system or a multispecialty medical group.

Of that group, 65 percent are being reimbursed through alternative payment models like pay-for-performance or bundled payments.

As providers take on more financial risk, how clinical decisions are made changes, according to a survey. When asked what data was most important to inform treatment decisions, 39 percent said real-world evidence and patient outcomes data, outpacing clinical trial data (31 percent), national treatment guidelines (22 percent), clinical care protocols (6 percent) and health economic data (2 percent).

The whitepaper argued this shift presents an opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry. If providers need partners with infrastructure to generate real-world evidence, then pharma companies can use it as an opening to develop evidence “that supports their brands.”

“The pharmaceutical industry is about to go through a complete reframing of how it markets and provides value to the physician community given the changes in the landscape stemming from the shift to value-based care that is upon us right now,” Shiraz Hasan, a vice president in Capgemini Consulting’s North American life sciences practice, said in a statement.

Providers’ distrust of pharmaceutical companies may get in the way, however. More than half (54 percent) of physicians in the larger organized providers category reported having restrictions in meeting with pharmaceutical sales representatives, with one-third blocking access completely with “no-see” policies. Most reported that email or website contact (47 percent) or meeting at conferences (31 percent) was the ideal method of pharmaceutical communications.

Sales teams in pharma have to evolve, the whitepaper argued, or else be left behind in the value-based care world.

“The pharmaceutical industry has the opportunity to help guide and support customers through this evolving landscape,” the survey concluded. “Fostering closer relationships with organized provider customers will ease the transition to value-based care, and prepare pharmaceutical companies for a potential future in which they, too, may be asked to share some of the financial risk as a key partner in US healthcare.”