Philadelphia, Penn. - $1,870,000,000. That figure represents the total cost to cover the 2,200 (approx.) patients with a rare form of blindness with Spark Therapeutics new one-time gene therapy, Luxturna. An undoubtedly hefty price tag which of course always accompanies the question, ‘who pays for the $850,000 per patient expense’? 

As FiercePharma recently reported, Spark Therapeutics is ahead of the curve with not only being transparent with the price (see our coverage of this trend from our 2017 trend reports) as well as announcing partnerships and plans to help payers and patients afford treatment.

“The first objective that we had was to ensure there would be broad and rapid coverage for patients,”(Spark’s CEO Jeffery Marrazzo) said during his investor presentation, “while reducing the potential for markups to payers and the financial risk for treatment centers that are incumbent in the traditional … model.”

Tim Wentworth, CEO of Express Scripts applauded Spark’s plans that were presented at January’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco which signifies Spark’s commitment to hit the ground running by collaborating immediately with PBM’s to help payer’s afford this therapy.

Here is a high-level peek at Spark’s three-step plan:

  • An outcomes-based rebate plan at 30-90 days as well as 30 months
  • Contracts will be with specialty pharmacies or commercial payers – allowing payers to work with and negotiate appropriate terms with treatment centers
  • Reimbursement models spread over many years

“We believe that this is an important principle to work towards, not just with Luxturna but with the pipeline that we have growing, not only at Spark but in general for gene therapy,” Marrazzo said during his presentation (at the JPM Healthcare conference).

You can read more about this originally reported by FiercePharma here.

Why This Matters –

We recently published our 2018 trend reports (download your copies here) with a new addition to our 7th annual thought leadership publication – commercial trends. With the commercial model being reshaped and rewired by new expectations, we highlight 15 new shifts that help us understand how to better position companies not just once, but continually, by changing a lot of things at the right time.

Two of these shifts we’re covering in our commercial trends in 2018 point to how Spark’s new outcomes-based payment model is meeting or even exceeding customer expectations.

1st Shift – Paying for Value:

The shift from efficiency to effectiveness is changing the healthcare decision-making environment. In 2018, deal making starts with data and understanding just what unique cumulative benefit a new drug can have on individual lives and population outcomes. Pharmaceutical leaders are on the forefront of finding new ways to link innovation to impact.

2nd Shift – Rapidly Evolving Rare:

In 2018, more focus will be put on the unique aspects of Commercialization in rare disease markets – both from industry leaders and legislators and regulators as growth, value and cost come under increasing scrutiny.

As Spark plans to meet these shifting expectations, it will be interesting to watch how other, larger, pharmaceutical companies position themselves in similar light. And, as we’ve seen and reported for a couple years now, transparency and action are key to helping people understand what’s behind the drug debate as well as increasing literacy as to what goes into drug development and eventually the commercialization of said drug.

Reach out to us with questions and ideas on how we can help you formulate a plan to understand which of the 75 trends we’re following impact your business and in turn, we will create actionable ideas!

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.