Industry News: Treating Cancer on the NHS, Healthcare Interoperability, and Are Clinical Trial Patients Different?

Keeping up with what’s going on in the industry can be a bit of a headache; there are new studies coming out every day and new initiatives launching all the time. Don’t stress, we’ve neatly chunked together 3 of the most interesting and useful stories from the last month – so you don’t have to! This month we hear about how real-world diabetic patients with macular edema and treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor, do not do as well as similar patients treated in a clinical trial setting. As well as that, we ask if the NHS is ready to use RWE to treat cancer, and have a think about the challenges we face with achieving healthcare interoperability.

Real-World anti-VEGF results fall short in macular edema
Laird Harrison for Medscape

Real-world patients with diabetic macular edema treated with anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) do not do as well as similar patients in clinical trials, according to an analysis of medical records from nearly 6000 patients seen at ophthalmology practices in the United States. “The patients had about eight injections, and they gained six letters at 1 year, so from that perspective, it’s good news,” said Thomas A. Ciulla, MD, MBA, from the Indiana School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and an employee of Spark Therapeutics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “From the perspective of matching a randomized clinical trial, it’s bad news,” he said here at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2017 Annual Meeting.

Is the NHS ready to use Real-World Evidence to treat cancer?
Richard Staines for Pharmaphorum

Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, has championed the use of genomic data to help treat cancer. But is the NHS ready to use this, and other forms of real-world data, to find new therapies, or ways of bringing drugs to patients? In this article, we hear about topics covered at the QuintilesIMS Real-World Evidence in Oncology conference to find out. Whether RWE will be able to revive value-based pricing and solve the issue of price is a moot point but, based on the views expressed by the speakers, there is certainly huge potential for new forms of data, gathered outside of clinical trials, to transform care.

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Top 5 challenges to achieving healthcare interoperability
Kate Monica for EHR Intelligence

Improved healthcare interoperability is a top priority for providers, policymakers, and patients in 2017. The public and private sectors are working across the industry to facilitate seamless health data exchange between a multitude of health IT systems to coordinate care across various health settings nationwide. Years of healthcare interoperability initiatives, health data exchange frameworks, and health IT standards have yielded considerable improvements in proliferating efficient information exchange. However, several challenges still bar stakeholders from achieving true interoperability for optimal care delivery and improved patient health outcomes. This neat little article covers 5 of the major challenges we face when working to achieve healthcare interoperability.