Hemophilia is a rare, inherited bleeding disorder affecting an estimated 400,000 people worldwide (1). Characterized by spontaneous bleeding and long-term, irreversible joint damage, persons with hemophilia are often limited in normal day-to-day activities, including work/school, and require comprehensive care at specialized treatment centers. With replacement therapies extending survival by decades and vastly improving quality of life (QoL), routine prophylaxis is considered the standard-of-care in developed countries. However, due to the cost of replacement factor, access to treatment remains a challenge, and increased scrutiny over funding has been augmented by growing demands on healthcare budgets (2). Thus, the hemophilia community shares a unified goal of objectively defining patient-centered value in hemophilia care.
Using a three-tiered outcomes hierarchy model initially described by Porter (3), an international, multidisciplinary panel of health economics outcomes researchers and hemophilia experts developed a value framework for decision makers to assess value of various healthcare interventions in hemophilia.
The three tiers for assessing value are: (i) Health status achieved/retained; (ii) Process of recovery; and (iii) Sustainability of health. Tier one measures survival, quality of life (QoL), and hemophilia-specific outcomes of bleeding frequency, musculoskeletal complications, and severe bleeds, as well as function/activity (that is, lifestyle impairment). Tier two measures time to initial treatment or recovery and time missed at education/work, as well as disutility of care (that is, inhibitor development, pathogen transmission/infections, orthopedic intervention, and venous access). Tier three measures avoidance of bleeds, maintenance of productive lives, and long-term health, while capturing long-term consequences of insufficient therapy or age-related complications. Applicability of the framework can be demonstrated in areas of healthcare delivery, treatment regimen, and innovation for new therapies.
This value framework represents an initial collaboration with stakeholders to define and organize an array of patient-centric outcomes of importance in hemophilia into a practical tool that can influence treatment and funding decisions in hemophilia care.