Engaging with ICER: Lessons and insights for pharma

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Publication Date:
June 2020
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ICER is here to stay so how best can industry engage for its benefit?

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is gaining a growing reputation with US payers. While ICER's drug assessments are advisory, and many will point to perceived weaknesses in its processes and methodology, the organization is becoming ever more influential in shaping stakeholder discussions and payer negotiations. ICER has signalled its willingness to work with manufacturers when assessing drugs, so how can pharma best engage and what can they contribute?

Whether you see ICER as an irritant or a force for good it is an established part of the US market landscape and manufacturers need clear strategies for engaging with, or responding to, ICER drug assessments. To help you shape your ICER strategy we interviewed, in April and May 2020, pharma industry experts with direct ICER experience. In Engaging with ICER: Lessons and insights for pharma they outline the key issues and opportunity/danger areas plus the practical constructive steps pharma can take.

Experts explore key questions such as...

  • How influential are ICER assessments to coverage decisions made by payers?
  • How do ICER's assessments influence manufacturers' price setting and pricing negotiations between manufacturers and payers?
  • What are the risks and benefits of engaging with ICER on assessments?
  • How can manufacturers leverage positive ICER assessments?
  • What do manufacturers need to avoid when engaging with ICER on their assessments?
  • Are manufacturers using ICER assessment reports to inform their market access strategy and price setting?

What Experts say...

"Manufacturers can also proactively try to figure out what the ICER for the particular product is and what is likely to be their recommendation. They can then try to be close to the ICER assessment so that discussions with payers can be faster. Manufacturers want to make sure that they are not too far off the ICER assessment, and that way they can do better in discussion with payers."
Executive Director, Market Access

"We reach out immediately and say 'how can we help?' Now we have relationships with them, so they reach out to us as well. We let them know upfront that we want to help them, we want to participate, we want to have the best outcomes for patients. Maybe they have a question or are struggling with something around the methodology, and they're now more open to reaching out and asking for expertise. In the last review they had some off schedule calls with us."
Chief Medical Officer

"We gain from engagement with ICER, we are showing the good science of our product and the value of our product. That's our job, to whoever needs to understand the science behind our products, we need to make sure that the full picture of our products is represented."
Senior Manager, HEOR

What to expect

A detailed report exploring pharma's attitude to and progressive strategies for engaging with, or responding to, ICER assessments:

  • An examination of 10 key issues that shape industry thinking about and attitude to ICER
  • 14 targeted questions put to senior pharma industry experts with ICER experience
  • Their responses which provided 59 insights supported by 134 directly quoted comments

Expert contributors

Experts contributing to this report have been screened to ensure they:

  • Are currently working in a pharmaceutical company in the US
  • Have direct experience of engagement with ICER on assessments of drugs and/or ICER's wider work
  • Possess a deep knowledge of current and past approaches used in ICER's reports

Interview questions were informed by in-depth secondary research.

Experts interviewed included

  • A Vice President working in global Health Economics and Outcomes Research at a top 25 pharmaceutical company. The VP has been part of an internal team that has engaged with ICER on more than one occasion.
  • An Executive Director working in a global group that works on evidence for market access at a top 10 pharmaceutical company. The ED was responsible for leading the manufacturers' engagement with ICER on an assessment.
  • A Senior Manager in Health Economics and Outcomes Research working in a global role, based in the US in a top 10 pharmaceutical company. This SM supports colleagues who engage with ICER.
  • An Executive Director working at a top 10 pharmaceutical company with responsibility for Real World Evidence. The ED engages with ICER on their methods and processes, and on ICER's assessments.
  • A Senior Executive in a top 25 pharmaceutical company working on access and value. Their work is directly relevant in supporting the value proposition of the company's products and informs engagement with external stakeholders, including ICER.
  • A Senior Director, US Health Economics and Outcomes Research, working in a top 25 pharmaceutical company. Their work is used to support external stakeholder engagement on the value of the company's products, including ICER.
  • A Senior Director, Health Economics and Outcomes Research working in a top 25 pharmaceutical company. Their experience with ICER includes ICER looking at a product that was part of the company portfolio at a company that they worked for in the past.
  • A Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, working in a top 25 pharmaceutical company. His company has had two products assessed by ICER.

Experts provided their own individual views, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations they work for.

Why choose FirstWord ExpertViews reports?

FirstWord's ExpertViews reports reveal the real world insights of knowledgeable experts to analyze in detail key commercial and market trends that pharma management need to understand if they are to effectively respond to critical developments. These highly-focussed reports:

  • Are based on primary research with experts whose knowledge and current experience is proven
  • Present clear insights and actionable intelligence
  • Include only the latest primary research and findings—we don't recycle content or pad-out our reports with secondary source material.