Kiersten Combs: Educating Patients With Diabetes on Heart Failure Risk Is Key to Effective Care

December 28, 2019

The significant findings of the DAPA-HF data have been well received in both the scientific and payer communities, but we also need to ensure that patients with diabetes are educated on the signs, symptoms, and risk factors linked with heart failure, said Kiersten Combs, BS, US vice president of Cardiovascular Metabolism at AstraZeneca.

The significant findings of the DAPA-HF data have been well received in both the scientific and payer communities, but we also need to ensure that patients with diabetes are educated on the signs, symptoms, and risk factors linked with heart failure, said Kiersten Combs, BS, US vice president of Cardiovascular Metabolism at AstraZeneca.

Transcript

Can you discuss the importance of the patient-reported outcomes data that was presented at AHA 2019? How do these data contribute to value-based agreements?

Especially in the heart failure patients where these patients are highly symptomatic, the data that we're reporting out, specifically using the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire [KCCQ] score, demonstrates that when patients take FARXIGA, they will actually feel better. So, not only is there an important clinical benefit, but there's also important patient benefit. I believe that will translate into the discussions in the impact that it will have with payers because they're ultimately looking to not only provide better health solutions for their patients, but also lower the cost to serve those patients.

We’re hearing more about value-based agreements in the diabetes and cardiovascular area, including agreements directly between manufacturers and large employers or purchasing groups that represent employers. Can you discuss any novel solutions that AstraZeneca is pursuing in this area?

We are extremely proud that we have been thought leaders in this space, not only with the number of value-based agreements we have with payers today, but also that we have these agreements across the breadth of our portfolio—so within the cardiovascular metabolic portfolio, but really also across our respiratory and oncology portfolio too. So, when we look at the data, such as what's being presented here, as well as everything else in our portfolio, we are engaging payers across the portfolio seeing what is possible; but I would just add that while the DAPA-HF data has been significant, and well received in the scientific community and in the payer community, I would also say that's not enough. We also need to make sure that we're educating patients on the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with heart failure. So, we're also quite proud that we've made an investment in just launching here at AHA 2019, a public service campaign called Diabetes Can Break Your Heart that will do exactly that.