publication date: Jun. 9, 2017

How drugs go viral: Flatiron’s real-world data show how uptake happens

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

The graphs make it seem so simple:

Doctors learn about a new therapy. They start to prescribe it. A standard of care is born. In a matter of months.

And you can see it all in utilization data compiled by Flatiron Health and made available to The Cancer Letter. Data gleaned from electronic health records of nearly 35,000 cancer patients make it possible to correlate landmark events—presentation, publication, approval—with real-world prescribing patterns.

The data, presented in line graphs published here, show expanding use of targeted agents and immunotherapies over the past two years in the treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and Hodgkin’s disease. The graphs show how physicians rely on clinical trial results immediately after they are presented or published—well before FDA approval.

Flatiron’s dataset focused on utilization of the following drugs:

Nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda), programmed death-1 checkpoint inhibitors, in advanced NSCLC patients,

Nivolumab in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and

Crizotinib (Xalkori), an anaplastic lymphoma kinase and c-ros oncogene-1 inhibitor, in NSCLC patients.

The immediacy of reporting is unprecedented: it’s not a surprise that oncologists use early trial data to guide clinical decision-making prior to FDA approval, but no one has aggregated this information in real time.

Flatiron’s analysis, which relies on data from their collaboration with FDA as well as other data, allows researchers to study drug utilization as the market evolves, enabling pharmaceutical companies and payers to make quick production and reimbursement decisions in tandem with evolution of the standard of care.

Maria Koehler, vice president of oncology strategy, innovation and collaborations at Pfizer Oncology, said the NSCLC data from the bioinformatics company is particularly valuable.
“It shows how the market … Continue reading How drugs go viral: Flatiron’s real-world data show how uptake happens

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