The program leverages AscellaHealth’s network of specialty pharmacy partners and Audaire’s healthcare technology to offer pharmacy network design, therapy utilization management, and clinical interventions based on active patient management.
It is said to be able to contain prescription costs by 12% to 25%, and give people with hemophilia the support needed to use therapies consistently and correctly. Its goal is better-informed providers, more-effective pharmacies, and better patient outcomes.
“Together with Audaire Health, AscellaHealth is transforming hemophilia management, offering a groundbreaking approach that allows payers to contain the costs of expensive drugs to treat hemophilia — as much as $50,000 a dose — with some patients treated prophylactically for the duration of therapy at a cost of $300,000 to millions per year,” Dea Belazi, president and chief executive officer of AscellaHealth, said in a press release.
“This program could not have been introduced at a better time in light of the recent approval of novel agents such as Hemlibra for non-inhibitors, essentially doubling the price of therapy,” Belazi said.
Hemlibra (emicizumab) is approved to manage the symptoms of patients with hemophilia A with or without factor VIII (FVIII) inhibitors (antibodies that render FVIII replacement therapies ineffective). It is marketed by Genentech, a Roche subsidiary, and works by doing what the blood clotting protein FVIII, which people with hemophilia A are missing, would normally do in the body.
Its annual list price at approval was $482,000 for a first year of treatment, and around $448,000 — depending on a patient’s weight — for subsequent years. A 2018 review by the watchdog agency ICER found Hemlibra to be “cost-saving” over the lifetime of a patient with inhibitors. A separate economic model study by researchers at Genentech and elsewhere also noted considerable 20-year savings with Hemlibra used as a prophylaxis (preventive treatment).
The use of factors — supplied to replace the patient’s missing blood clotting factor — has risen markedly among those with hemophilia A and B in the last decade, Belazi said, adding that payers such as insurance companies absorb much of the extra cost. The release noted that hemophilia was the “number one” stop-loss claim item for the last three years.
“Our new program answers these challenges, as evidenced by typical client cost savings which are quite compelling,” Belazi said.
“We are offering patients a simple way of logging infusions and bleeds,” said Andrew Berg, chief executive officer of Audaire Health. “Our technology combines patient-reported utilization data, physician performance data with pharmacy dispensation data that spans assay, lot and expiration into a single platform. This provides care teams with real-time access to infusion logs and bleed alerts, allowing for quick interventions if necessary.”
AscellaHealth is a pharmacy benefits manager for commercial and Medicare and Medicaid segments. The healthcare technology company Audaire focuses on greater transparency and accountability among payers, providers, pharmacies and patients. It reports that its platform enables patients to easily track medication adherence and any changes in symptom severity.
More information about the program is available by contacting Michael Baldzicki, executive vice president of growth and strategy at AscellaHealth, at [email protected].
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