News Release

PhRMA Foundation awards $1 million to researchers for patient-centered value assessment work

Grant and Award Announcement

PhRMA Foundation

The nonprofit PhRMA Foundation awarded two $500,000 Frontier Awards to William Padula, PhD, of the University of Southern California and Surachat Ngorsuraches, PhD, of Auburn University for research applying patient-centered value assessment models to help guide health care decision-making.

Value assessment research, which seeks to determine the relative benefits and costs of health care interventions, is becoming increasingly important as the U.S. moves to implement more value-based health care policies. “These studies led by Dr. Padula and Dr. Ngorsuraches will advance the field of value assessment by applying previously theoretical models in a real-world context to assess whether they can reliably guide health care decision-making,” said PhRMA Foundation President Amy M. Miller, PhD. “In addition, both research teams are engaging directly, and meaningfully, with patients to ensure their voices are included in the process of assessing value.”

Padula, assistant professor of pharmaceutical and health economics at the USC Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will investigate applications of Generalized Risk-Adjusted Cost-Effectiveness (GRACE) for valuing cancer therapies. GRACE aims to improve health care valuation by accounting for patients’ preferences as they relate to the value of hope, insurance value, and health equity to quantify optimal cost-effectiveness thresholds that rise for more severe diseases and reduce for milder conditions. Padula’s team will work with patient support organizations CancerCare and The Breast Cancer Fundraiser.

“We aim to illustrate the utility of GRACE to improve interpretation of the value of treatments for the most common cancers affecting women and men — breast cancer and prostate cancer,” Padula said. “This work should have important implications for federal agencies such as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as they explore new methods in pharmacoeconomics to support drug price negotiation efforts under the Medicare Part D program.”

Ngorsuraches, associate professor of health outcomes research and policy in Auburn’s Harrison College of Pharmacy, will assess the value of therapies for multiple sclerosis using patient-centered multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA), with a focus on the perspectives of patients and families in the Deep South. MCDA is a decision-making tool that helps capture and weigh multiple factors important to stakeholders, including nontraditional measures of value. His team will work with the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“We hope this study will amplify the often-overlooked patient voices in the Deep South and lead to the application of the patient-centered MCDA in the value assessments of other treatments and interventions in these states and across the country,” Ngorsuraches said.

Value assessment research can directly impact patient care when used by policymakers to inform decisions regarding patient treatment, insurance coverage, and reimbursement. The PhRMA Foundation aims to ensure health care decisions are guided by the best possible evidence by investing in research that is rigorous and transparent and addresses the needs of all health care stakeholders — especially patients.

Learn more about our Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research Program and apply for our awards.

About the PhRMA Foundation

The PhRMA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fosters biopharmaceutical innovation and value-driven health care by investing in the frontiers of research. The Foundation catalyzes the careers of promising researchers through competitive, peer-reviewed grants and fellowships in the fields of drug delivery, drug discovery, translational medicine, and value assessment and health outcomes research. Since its founding in 1965, the PhRMA Foundation has funded more than 2,700 scientists at over 300 institutions.

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