Enthusiasm for the use of outcomes-based managed entry agreements (OBMEAs) to manage uncertainties apparent at the time of appraisal/pricing and reimbursement of new medicines has waned over the past decade, as challenges in establishment, implementation and re-appraisal have been identified. With the recent advent of innovative treatments for rare diseases that have uncertainties in the clinical evidence base, but which could meet a high unmet need, there has been renewed interest in the potential of OBMEAs. The objective of this research was to review the implementation of OBMEAs for two case studies across countries in the European Union, Australia and Canada, to identify good practices that could inform development of tools to support implementation of OBMEAs.
To investigate how OBMEAs are being implemented with rare disease treatments, we collected information from health technology assessment/payer experts in countries that had implemented OBMEAs for either nusinersen in spinal muscular atrophy or tisagenlecleucel in two cancer indications. Operational characteristics of the OBMEAs that were publicly available were documented. Then, the experts discussed issues in implementing these OBMEAs and specific approaches taken to overcome challenges.
The OBMEAs identified were based on individual outcomes to ensure appropriate use, manage continuation of treatment and in two cases linked to payment schedules, or they were population based, coverage with evidence development. For nusinersen, population-based OBMEAs are documented in Belgium, England and the Netherlands and individual-based schemes in Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and Lithuania. For tisagenlecleucel, there were population-based schemes in Australia, Belgium, England and France and individual-based schemes in Italy and Spain. Comparison of the OBMEA constructs showed some clear published frameworks and clarity of the uncertainties to be addressed that were similar across countries. Agreements were generally made between the marketing authorisation holder and the payer with involvement of expert physicians. Only England and the Netherlands involved patients. Italy used its long-established, national, web-based, treatment-specific data collection system linked to reimbursement and Spain has just developed such a national treatment registry system. Other countries relied on a variety of data collection systems (including clinical registries) and administrative data. Durations of agreements varied for these treatments as did processes for interim reporting. The processes to ensure data quality, completeness and sufficiency for re-analysis after coverage with evidence development were not always clear, neither were analysis plans.
These case studies have shown that important information about the constructs of OBMEAs for rare disease treatments are publicly available, and for some jurisdictions, interim reports of progress. Outcomes-based managed entry agreements can play an important role not only in reimbursement, but also in treatment optimisation. However, they are complex to implement and should be the exception and not the rule. More recent OBMEAs have developed document covenants among stakeholders or electronic systems to provide assurances about data sufficiency. For coverage with evidence development, there is an opportunity for greater collaboration among jurisdictions to share processes, develop common data collection agreements, and share interim and final reports. The establishment of an international public portal to host such reports would be particularly valuable for rare disease treatments.