NPC @ ISPOR 2019

May 18-22, 2019
New Orleans

Join NPC at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 2019 conference in New Orleans on May 18-22. NPC Chief Science Officer and Executive Vice President Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD; Vice President of Health Services Research Kimberly Westrich, MA; and NPC/Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy Research Postdoctoral Health Policy Fellow Taruja Karmarkar, PhD, MHS, will share their research at panels and poster sessions throughout the event. NPC will also host a pre-conference symposium, "Able to Cure, Able to Pay: Closing the Widening Gap," on financing curative therapies. Get the full agenda and register today on ISPOR's website.


Sunday, May 19

Symposium: Able to Cure, Able to Pay — Closing the Widening Gap

5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Central Time

Innovative and potentially curative therapies for life-threatening cancers and genetic disorders are becoming available now, and many more are in the pipeline. These new therapies will be transformative for patients facing serious illness—but the science is getting ahead of the health care system, which is not prepared to sustain the costs associated with them. During this session, panelists will explore the leading edge approaches that are being considered and/or implemented such as Netflix-style subscription payments and annuity payments, and debate the challenges to closing the widening gap between our ability to cure and our ability to pay. (Preview the conversation on our blog.)


  • Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, National Pharmaceutical Council (Moderator)
  • Alexander Billioux, MD, Louisiana Department of Health's Office of Public Health
  • Vadin Lubarsky, MBA, Novartis Services, Inc.
  • Adam Boehler, MBA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (invited)

Tuesday, May 21

Issue Panel 10: The Rise of ICER Means the Loss of Choice — True, False or Uncertain?

11 a.m.-12 p.m. Central Time

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is gaining traction in the U.S., with a unique program of value-based price assessments to inform payer access decisions. These assessments rely on cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and budget impact analysis, with elements of the ICER value framework following methodologies adopted by HTA agencies, such as NICE in the UK. However, while NICE methodological approaches reflect UK national priorities, uncertainty exists whether similar approaches are appropriate for the U.S., where such approaches may be unintentionally misaligned as underlying priorities favor individual choice. Whereas a “one-size-fits-all approach” fits countries emphasizing equality and fairness, that same approach may not be acceptable in the pluralistic U.S. environment. In this session, leading experts and stakeholders will consider value framework approaches undertaken by ICER and debate their relevance for price, reimbursement and patient access decisions in the U.S.


  • Denise Kruzikas, PhD, MPH, AESARA (Moderator)
  • Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, National Pharmaceutical Council
  • Ron Akehurst, DSc, Hon MFPHM, BresMed Health Solutions
  • Michael Sherman, MD, MBA, MS, Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare

Issue Panel 12: Controversies Around the Use of Patient-reported Measures in Oncology — What are the Benefits, Risks and Barriers to Implementing PR-PMs in Value-based Payment Programs?

11 a.m.-12 p.m. Central Time

Despite the importance of including the patient voice in quality measurement, difficulty developing methodologically-sound patient-reported measures (PRMs) and implementing meaningful patient-reported performance measures (PR-PMs) has contributed to gaps in the availability and use of PR-PMs for accountability programs. A recent NPC and Discern Health research project examined the current state of patient-reported measurement in oncology and charted a path for filling gaps. Building on project findings, this panel will debate the controversies around using PRMs in accountability programs.  This multi-stakeholder discussion is aimed at providing insight on the role of PR-PMs in value-based payment and identifying key opportunities for future efforts in quality measurement and measure implementation.


  • Theresa Schmidt, MA, Discern Health (Moderator)
  • Cynthia Grossman, PhD, Biogen
  • Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, Duke Cancer Institute
  • W. Garth Callaghan, Napkin Notes Dad

Poster Presentation: US Care Pathways Continued Focus on Oncology and Outstanding Challenges

On display from 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Central Time
Presented from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Central Time

Presented by NPC Vice President of Health Services Research Kimberly Westrich, MA

Poster Presentation: Step Therapy as an Approach to Address Health Care Costs — Principles, Legislation and Patient Outcomes

On display from 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Central Time
Presented from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Central Time

Presented by NPC/Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy Research Postdoctoral Health Policy Fellow Taruja Karmarkar, PhD, MHS

Wednesday, May 22

Poster Presentation: Patients Have Little, If Any, Input Into Commercial Health Plan Specialty Drug Coverage Policy Development

On display from 9:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. Central Time
Presented from 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Central Time

Presented by research partner James D. Chambers, PhD, MPharm, MSc, Associate Professor of Medicine, the Tufts Medical Center Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies