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Real World Evidence: Driving Excellence in Pharma Companies

Aug 16, 2018

What is Real World Evidence?

As the world of healthcare is constantly evolving, medical companies have started looking for new ways to get the best treatments for patients. One way to attain this is with the help of real world evidence (RWE). Real world evidence refers to the clinical data that is derived from multiple databases of healthcare companies. Studying this data helps to gain a better understanding of how they can relate to more traditional clinical endpoints and also identify the long-term benefits of a product. One of the key high points of real world evidence is that it will not only tap increasing volumes of data, but weave together different sources of data, including genomic data, clinical data, and socioeconomic data, to produce a clearer picture of individual patient’s characteristics and improve medicine’s ability to treat individual patient needs.

Key Benefits of Real World Evidence in Pharma Companies

The use of real world evidence in pharma companies involves the analysis of large data sets to determine the performance of new drugs beyond the scope of clinical trials. Here are some of the key benefits of incorporating real world evidence in pharma:

Outcomes Based on Larger Data Samples

As opposed to the narrower and smaller range of patients who typically participate in traditional clinical trials, real world evidence uses medical data garnered from tens of thousands of patients in real-time. Apart from EHRs and medical data, data sources can be as varied as patient forums, social media, and doctors’ notes. This gives a vastly larger and more accurate data sample on which medical professionals can base their conclusions and ascertain the effectiveness and ROI of a medication.

Accelerate Time to Market

The use of real world evidence in pharma companies can help steer potential product development with near real-time feedback on market requirements. This will help life sciences companies to promptly zero-in on the most promising avenues of research, both scientific and commercial potential. Resorting to this approach also reduces situations of a false start and the development of orphan drugs that have limited clinical application.

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Proactive Response to Adverse Developments

The use of real world evidence in pharma aids in collecting real-time post-trial information about a drug that helps researchers and providers to quickly identify the negative reactions, side-effects, and medication errors associated with the drug. This helps limit the potential harm caused by the drug. The information gathered can also be used to improve recommendations for how to best use a particular medication.

Personalization of Drugs

By tracking patient’s response to various medications and sourcing ample patient data from the health records, real world evidence makes it possible to identify subsets of patients who can gain maximum benefit from a particular type of medication. This could be mainly affected by the patient’s genetics, particulars of their illness, environmental, and other factors.

Identify New Markets

The use of real world evidence in pharma companies also provides insights on the development of new therapies and products in the market for which there is a strong market demand and ready payer acceptance. Using population data on medical outcomes and disease trends can help pharma companies gain deeper insights into treatment patterns, epidemiological trends, and disease management opportunities. This can further help companies identify underserved markets and treatment inefficiencies.

Payer Acceptance for New Expensive Treatments

New drugs often prove to be highly expensive for patients requiring them to shell out tens of thousands of dollars a month. While many of these medications have been proven to prolong lives, it might prove to be a difficult task using only conventional trial data to demonstrate their real value relative to cost. With the help of RWE, companies in the pharma industry can easily determine who benefits from these expensive treatments. When evidence shows that a particular group of patients will most definitely benefit from these expensive treatments, insurers will be willing to cover it.

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Reduce Cost and Improve the Efficiency of Clinical Trials

Narrow data sets often lead to irrelevant results which eventually reduces the reliability of clinical drug trials and skyrockets the R&D costs, which are already high. With the help of real-world evidence in pharma, researchers can integrate multiple sources of data and simulate trials based on actual patient outcomes. This also acts as a strong foundation to further develop treatments and decide whether a trial design will yield meaningful results, which substantially saves time and money.

Link Data across Different Sources

Pharma companies, payers, and providers can integrate data from multiple sources using RWE. This includes transactional data from claims files, clinical data from EHR or EMR records, pharmacy data from different databases, and also unstructured data from social media sites or handwritten notes. Linking this data can yield new insights such as discovering that a slightly less effective but much less expensive medicine is more cost-effective for a given population. This also increases data reliability as different sources for the same data can be compared against one another and consistency.

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