US: Health plan Harvard Pilgrim signs outcomes-based contracts with AstraZeneca

The US health plan Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has signed two outcomes-based contracts with AstraZeneca for its acute coronary disease drug Brilinta and Bydureon, a treatment for Type II diabetes, in which the cost of the drugs will be linked to their effectiveness in actual patients.

In the three-year contract for Brilinta, Harvard Pilgrim will be monitoring specific criteria following discharge from hospital of patients with acute coronary syndrome. The outcome will focus on measuring the reduction in hospitalisations for repeat acute coronary events for patients on Brilinta, compared to patients on another oral antiplatelet therapy.

In the second contract for Bydureon, which is used to control blood glucose levels in Type II diabetes patients, Harvard Pilgrim will measure HbA1c levels in patients and evaluate the ability of patients who adhere to Bydureon to get to a predetermined HbA1c goal.

If the drugs do not deliver the agreed outcomes in real patients, Harvard Pilgrim will be charged a lower amount. Through the contracts, AstraZeneca and Harvard Pilgrim have agreed the health plan will be charged for drugs based on value to the patient, and not solely on volume sold.

“Linking the ultimate cost of these medicines to their real-world clinical effectiveness really puts patients at the centre of focus,” said Michael Sherman, Harvard Pilgrim Chief Medical Officer. “Real world performance may differ from what is observed in well-controlled clinical trials, and the willingness of pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca to go at risk for delivering on these outcomes sends a positive message to health plans, prescribing physicians, and patients.”


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