ASH Submits Letter to the ICER Regarding the Review of Myeloma Drugs

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) released its draft report on treatment options for multiple myeloma, focusing on adults with relapsed or refractory disease, adults who are not currently on maintenance therapy, and adults who are not considered eligible for hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). This draft will be discussed at the inaugural public meeting of the Midwest Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (Midwest CEPAC) on May 26, 2016. The draft was written with the input from patient groups and the drug manufacturers whose products are mentioned in the report, according to a press release from ICER.

After reviewing the draft report, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) submitted comments to ICER expressing concern with the group’s comparative-effectiveness analysis, focusing on the difference between clinical trial data and clinical experience that is gained following approval.

“Unfortunately, the scope of ICER’s analysis is far too narrow because it does not represent the realities of clinical practice,” ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, and President-Elect Kenneth Anderson, MD, wrote in the letter. “As such, ASH believes that the type of analysis has only limited value in determining the just price and utility of novel drugs and drug combinations in this rapidly advancing field.”

Despite these concerns, “ASH strongly encourages other efforts to measure the comparative effectiveness of new myeloma drugs, such as comparative-effectiveness trials, or the development of clinical data registries,” they continued.

ASH plans to offer oral remarks at the CEPAC meeting at the end of May and will work to ensure that patients continue to have appropriate access to myeloma therapies.

Source: ICER draft report, April 7, 2016; ASH correspondence, April 20, 2016.