An Interview with Donna Cryer, Global Liver Institute, on Assessing The Value of Treatments for Liver Disease

Donna Cryer, JD, a liver transplant recipient and founder, president and CEO of the Global Liver Institute, is a passionate advocate for patients. She is a familiar presence at health care stakeholder meetings in Washington, DC, where she works to ensure that patients’ views, concerns and voices are incorporated into setting research priorities, engaging in health information technology and making clinical decisions. Most recently, she has turned her attention to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), an organization focused on cost-effectiveness reviews that is now considering how to assess the value of specific treatments for liver disease.

On the eve of ICER’s public meeting to discuss its evaluation of these treatments, National Pharmaceutical Council President Dan Leonard sat down with Ms. Cryer to ask her thoughts about ICER, value assessments and how patients can become more engaged in these evaluations.

Dan Leonard (DL): First, thanks for sitting down with me to discuss these timely issues. How would your community assess the value of new therapies that have come on the market in the past few years, particularly cures for hepatitis C and other major advances in the treatment of liver disease?

Donna Cryer (DC): Thank you, Dan, and to the National Pharmaceutical Council for this opportunity to discuss the important issue of the impact of value frameworks to the liver community and to all patient communities. On a scale of 1-10, the value of new treatments in liver disease in recent years has been a 10, because we have not only found a cure for one of the top causes for liver transplantation, liver cancer, and liver-related deaths, globally, but we have started to see an energetic ecosystem of collaborative and competitive research and drug development emerging for a host of liver diseases from Hepatitis B vaccines to the first treatment for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), a rare autoimmune liver disease, to potential upcoming therapies for non-alcoholic staetohepatitis (NASH), which is closely related to the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

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