A tailored approach to horizon scanning for cancer medicines

Jennifer A Soon*, Yat Hang To, Marliese Alexander, Karen Trapani, Paolo A Ascierto, Sophy Athan, Matthew Burge, Andrew Haydon, Brett Hughes, Malinda Itchins, Thomas John, Steven Kao, Miriam Koopman, Bob T Li, Georgina V Long, Jonathan M Loree, Ben Markman, Tarek M Meniawy, Alexander M Menzies, Louise NottNick Pavlakis, Teresa M Petrella, Sanjay Popat, Jeanne Tie, Wen Xu, Desmond Yip, John Zalcberg, Benjamin J Solomon, Peter Gibbs, Grant A McArthur, Fanny Franchini, Maarten IJzerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Horizon scanning (HS) is the systematic identification of emerging therapies to inform policy and decision-makers. We developed an agile and tailored HS methodology that combined multi-criteria decision analysis weighting and Delphi rounds. As secondary objectives, we aimed to identify new medicines in melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer most likely to impact the Australian government's pharmaceutical budget by 2025 and to compare clinician and consumer priorities in cancer medicine reimbursement.

METHOD: Three cancer-specific clinician panels (total n = 27) and a consumer panel (n = 7) were formed. Six prioritisation criteria were developed with consumer input. Criteria weightings were elicited using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Candidate medicines were identified and filtered from a primary database and validated against secondary and tertiary sources. Clinician panels participated in a three-round Delphi survey to identify and score the top five medicines in each cancer type.

RESULTS: The AHP and Delphi process was completed in eight weeks. Prioritisation criteria focused on toxicity, quality of life (QoL), cost savings, strength of evidence, survival, and unmet need. In both curative and non-curative settings, consumers prioritised toxicity and QoL over survival gains, whereas clinicians prioritised survival. HS results project the ongoing prevalence of high-cost medicines. Since completion in October 2021, the HS has identified 70 % of relevant medicines submitted for Pharmaceutical Benefit Advisory Committee assessment and 60% of the medicines that received a positive recommendation.

CONCLUSION: Tested in the Australian context, our method appears to be an efficient and flexible approach to HS that can be tailored to address specific disease types by using elicited weights to prioritise according to incremental value from both a consumer and clinical perspective.

POLICY SUMMARY: Since HS is of global interest, our example provides a reproducible blueprint for adaptation to other healthcare settings that integrates consumer input and priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100441
Pages (from-to)100441
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Cancer Policy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


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