Value Frameworks in Oncology: Comparative Analysis and Implications to the Pharmaceutical Industry

Am Health Drug Benefits. 2017 Jul;10(5):253-260.


Background: As the cost of oncology care continues to rise, composite value models that variably capture the diverse concerns of patients, physicians, payers, policymakers, and the pharmaceutical industry have begun to take shape.

Objectives: To review the capabilities and limitations of 5 of the most notable value frameworks in oncology that have emerged in recent years and to compare their relative value and application among the intended stakeholders.

Methods: We compared the methodology of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Value Framework (version 2.0), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Evidence Blocks, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center DrugAbacus, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review Value Assessment Framework, and the European Society for Medical Oncology Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale, using a side-by-side comparative approach in terms of the input, scoring methodology, and output of each framework. In addition, we gleaned stakeholder insights about these frameworks and their potential real-world applications through dialogues with physicians and payers, as well as through secondary research and an aggregate analysis of previously published survey results.

Results: The analysis identified several framework-specific themes in their respective focus on clinical trial elements, breadth of evidence, evidence weighting, scoring methodology, and value to stakeholders. Our dialogues with physicians and our aggregate analysis of previous surveys revealed a varying level of awareness of, and use of, each of the value frameworks in clinical practice. For example, although the ASCO Value Framework appears nascent in clinical practice, physicians believe that the frameworks will be more useful in practice in the future as they become more established and as their outputs are more widely accepted.

Conclusions: Along with patients and payers, who bear the burden of treatment costs, physicians and policymakers have waded into the discussion of defining value in oncology care, as well as pharmaceutical companies that seek to understand the impact of these value frameworks on each stakeholder, as they model the value and financial threshold of innovative, high-cost drugs.

Keywords: aggregate analysis; clinical trials; healthcare stakeholder; oncology drug costs; value framework.

Publication types

  • Review