publication date: Jun. 9, 2017

Conversation with The Cancer Letter

Maria Koehler: Real-world data is “truly a revolution”

Maria Koehler

Vice President of oncology strategy, innovation and collaborations, Pfizer Oncology



Real-world evidence is more than just another way of tracking post-market patterns in drug utilization, said Maria Koehler, vice president of oncology strategy, innovation and collaborations at Pfizer Oncology.

New technology for tracking real-world data may soon change the way pharmaceutical companies approach drug development. By analyzing real-time data, industry can use robust evidence from oncology practices to update drug labels, track market trends, and adjust production.

“For example, let’s look at anti-VEGF drugs like Avastin,” Koehler said. “If Avastin is used in non-small cell lung cancer, but a better drug is coming, then, of course, the Avastin segment would decrease dramatically, because the new drug is presumably better.

“This is the key here—presumably better, because there is no direct comparison between angiogenesis inhibitors and PD-1. But the market is telling us how it interprets the trial data or how physicians interpret the data. This is where the value is—truly.”

Koehler agreed to review drug utilization data compiled by Flatiron Health and made available to The Cancer Letter. The dataset tracks the uptake of PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor drugs in nearly 35,000 non-small cell lung cancer patients over two years.

Before advanced techniques for data aggregation became available, companies were unable to reliably assess the value of a drug on the market after receiving FDA approval.

“Now the technology is here, but it needs Flatiron—there are … Continue reading Maria Koehler: Real-world data is “truly a revolution”

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