The Road to Analytics Success

Three Key Themes from Panalgo’s Data to Insights 2024 Conference

For the life sciences industry, harnessing the right data can help companies make better decisions and improve patient outcomes. At “Data to Insights 2024,” Panalgo’s annual conference held in Atlanta last week, industry experts discussed the latest hot topics and shared best practices for harnessing data to make more informed decisions.

This year’s road trip-themed event encouraged participants to “fuel up” by leveraging the right data sources, “prepare their analytics engines” by maximizing the potential of Panalgo’s Instant Health Data (IHD) software and “consult their guide” by expanding their insights with analytics services. Here are three key themes from the conference.

  1. Navigating the new IRA landscape with RWE: Peter Neumann, Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, explained the growing role of real-world evidence (RWE) in upcoming drug price negotiations stipulated in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 

While some factors Medicare will consider in drug price negotiations are value-based (alternative treatments, comparative effectiveness, and unmet need) and some are cost-based (R&D costs, cost of production/distribution, and federal support for R&D), most will be based on RWE, Neumann said. RWE will support IRA negotiations by identifying therapeutic alternatives, measuring key outcomes, examining specific patient populations treated by the drugs, addressing health equity, and highlighting unmet needs.

Neumann issued a “call to action” for attendees who use Panalgo’s Instant Health Data (IHD) platform to harness RWE and stressed its importance in these drug price negotiations, even as aspects of the IRA could change. “CMS needs your help in these negotiations. Regardless of what happens, RWE will be important and it’s incumbent upon [biopharma] companies to marshal the evidence and their arguments as best as they can,” Neumann said.

Kyle Hvidsten, Global Head, Specialty Care Health Economics and Value Assessment at Sanofi, also stressed RWE’s growing role in drug price negotiations. “Our industry has always been evidence-based, but it will become increasingly more evidence-based,” Hvidsten said.  “RWE will not only inform regulatory decisions, but it will be fundamental to the conversation about [treatment] value.”

With tight timelines to produce this evidence for drug price negotiations, planning for use of RWE on a broader scale is crucial, panelists said. “RWE is absolutely critical, especially when you get into smaller indications and smaller population drugs,” David Anstatt, Vice President, Real World Data Analytics, Business Insights & Analytics at BMS, said.

Hvidsten reiterated the call to action for biopharma companies to harness RWE. “Clinical trials were not required before 1962, and I give no less importance to the IRA in this day and age,” he said. “From the standpoint of the CMS reviewer, would I be impressed by clinical trials that were done 10 or 12 years ago for decisions that I’m trying to make today? I would not. Would that help me understand the value of a drug today? No. I’d be much more impressed with a company that continued to ask important questions [about] understanding how these medicines are changing clinical practice.”

  1. Linking siloed RWD for more complete patient insights: Ryan Moog, Head of Life Sciences Solutions at Datavant, offered advice on how to accelerate and simplify the process for finding and using data to get better patient insights. Moog shared sobering statistics on how human health suffers without accessible and usable data, including 250,000 deaths caused by medical errors and 12 million missed diagnoses in the U.S. each year, delayed diagnoses (4 to 5 years on average to diagnose a rare disease patient), and high costs, with 25% of health spending in the U.S. considered to be wasteful.Most health decisions aren’t informed by data because health data are incredibly fragmented, Moog said. This can be solved through tokenization, replacing personally identifiable information (PII) with placeholders called tokens, de-identified datasets that connect patient records between disparate datasets while protecting patient privacy. Trial tokenization helps you understand the full patient journey, from pre-trial insights (optimizing protocol and study design, understanding patient social determinants of health, building external control arms); clinical trial lifecycle (building external control arms and understanding super-responders and non-responders); and analysis and monitoring (long-term follow-ups for safety and efficacy and commercial differentiation).

    Moog shared two successful use cases on tokenization and data linkage of RWE. One supported regulatory approval and assessed the impact of targeted drug therapy on clinical outcomes for a new treatment for primary biliary cholangitis, a rare autoimmune disease, and another supported long-term safety and evidence collection after clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines.

    Next up, Dave Walton, CEO of T1D Exchange, a nonprofit organization for type 1 diabetes research and care, presented another successful use case on data linkage. T1D Exchange unlocked new and impactful Type 1 diabetes research insights by partnering with Datavant and Panalgo to tokenize the personally identifiable information (PII) of Type 1 diabetes patients. T1D Exchange leveraged Panalgo’s claims data and expertise to produce simplified, streamlined claims data sets to meet its research goals, including development of targeted code lists for T1D and other complications and comorbidities, diagnoses/conditions, drug and device prescriptions, and procedures.

  2. Maximizing the potential of IHD and RWE solutions: The right analytics and data partnerships can help life sciences organizations better understand the patient journey and improve patient outcomes. Clients highlighted their experiences working with Panalgo to achieve these goals via our IHD software implementation and RWE. As an end-to-end RWE solutions provider, Panalgo, in addition to IHD and Insights-as-a-Service (IaaS), now offers fit for purpose rapid analytics and access to RWD on demand or through data partnerships.“We use IHD pretty much every day, and it’s a very useful tool, especially some of the features such as the patient viewer, to really understand what’s going on with claims data and individual patients,” said Maria Guzman, Biostatistician at Carelon.

    George Foutrakis, Global HEOR Leader at GORE Medical, praised the collaboration and support provided by the Panalgo team. “It’s not a typical vendor/client partnership,” he said. “The onboarding, training and support really makes a difference in moving us forward.”

    Bilal Khokhar, Director, Safety Pharmacoepidemiology at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, explained how the company used machine learning approaches in IHD’s data science module to enhance its employees’ familiarity with RWD and AI/ML technologies. Through an internal datathon using IHD, Takeda educated employees on the potential of RWD and AI/ML in addressing healthcare challenges. Takeda team members with no statistical or epidemiology background learned IHD and were able to answer research questions in two days. “IHD is a great resource to help people without that experience to learn,” Khokhar said. 

The Road Ahead
From discussions on the critical role of RWE in IRA drug price negotiations to use cases showcasing the impact of data linkage and tokenization, the conference underscored the urgency and opportunity for industry stakeholders to embrace data-driven approaches. As the industry continues to evolve, the lessons and collaborations forged at this year’s event offered valuable insights into data-driven innovations to improve patient outcomes.

To learn more about partnering with Panalgo on your healthcare analytics journey, contact us.