In a retrospective analysis of 86 diabetic patients who switched from multiple daily insulin injections to the V-Go insulin pump, Valeritas (NSDQ:VLRX) reported this week that use of its device led to a 44% reduction in total daily insulin dose per patient.
A drastic cut to a patient’s daily insulin dose and improvement to their blood sugar levels are outcomes that Scott Abbott, director of medical development at Valeritas, has come to expect with the company’s device.
“We’ve seen this in almost every study that has been done using the V-Go insulin delivery device,” Abbott told Drug Delivery Business News.
Not only did the pump cut each patient’s daily dose and reduce blood sugar levels, it was also associated with direct pharmacy cost savings of $146.00±$378.60 per patient per month, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research.
In a prospective clinical trial of the V-Go wearable pump, the company compared real-world use of its device in 169 patients with Type II diabetes to 246 patients treated with multiple daily doses of insulin.
Patients who used the V-Go pump experienced improved diabetes treatment outcomes, but treatment was also cheaper, according to the data. The mean per-patient-per-day cost of diabetes treatment was $32.60 for standard treatment compared to $30.59 for the V-Go treatment groups.
Abbott said that having this pharmaco-economic data is crucial, especially amid growing concern over the price of insulin.
“It’s important because you want a treatment that is effective and safe and treats the underlying condition, but also you want to do it in an economically sound manner,” he said.
V-Go is largely reimbursed through pharmacy benefit managers and Abbott said that payer and managed care companies are seeking data that show how the device could impact their pharmacy budgets.
Abbott also pointed out that enrolling patients into a real-world study with minimal inclusion/exclusion criteria can help ensure that the trial’s outcomes aren’t stifled by design.
“It provides a more realistic environment as to how treatments perform in a setting that is not run by a clinical study,” he said.
Valeritas’ wearable insulin pump won 510(k) clearance from the FDA in 2010 and CE Mark approval in the European Union the following year. Since then, executive VP & chief financial officer Erick Lucera said the company’s commercial strategy has evolved.
“One of the things that we’ve done is we’ve changed our marketing from a low touch, high reach where we were basically reaching out to a lot of doctors, dropping off samples and leaving. Now, we’re becoming a partner with the physicians,” Lucera said.
The Bridgewater, N.J.-based company is developing its next product iteration, called the V-Go Link, which it hopes will enable connectivity between a smart phone and its V-Go pump to track patient use.
Lucera said the V-Go Link will aim to help physicians better understand how much insulin their patients are regularly taking, since relying on patients to self-report their insulin intake is flawed.
“We think it’s a tremendous benefit in terms of increased patient compliance and getting the patient to goal soon rather than later,” he said.
The company has working prototypes of the V-Go Link and said it expects the product to be on the market in a year and a half.
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