How Takeda is thinking about value-based arrangements with payers

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Hear from Takeda executive Ramona Sequeira on how the company is thinking about value-based payment. (Getty Images/Jacoblund)

At Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, value-based arrangements with providers must start with a foundation of trust.

Ramona Sequeira, president of Takeda’s U.S. Business Unit and Global Portfolio Commercialization, told Fierce Healthcare in an interview that when the team is meeting with an insurer to discuss such an agreement, it begins by sitting down and sharing key information such as clinical and market data.

Because value-based or outcome-based arrangements are long-term commitments, it's critical to make clear from the get-go that it's a "win-win-win" that benefits Takeda, the payer and the patient at the same time, Sequeira said.

Ramona Sequeira
Ramona Sequeira (Takeda)

"I think a lot of times, payers (are) going into these arrangements and they don't trust us," Sequeira said.

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Takeda has focused its research and development in four key areas: oncology, rare genetics and hematology, neuroscience and gastroenterology. It also aims to address conditions with high levels of unmet need, Sequeira said.

As such, many of the products in its pipeline are ripe for potential payment arrangements with health plans. To prepare for this, Sequeira said the company is learning now what works with its existing drug products.

She said ensuring its product lines stand out from the pack make it more attractive for insurers to come to the table and discuss pricing options.

"If you come out with a whole bunch of products similar to a lot of what's on the market already, people don't have the interest or time commitment to sit down and partner with us," Sequeira said.

It helps, too, that Takeda closed its acquisition of Shire in early 2019, significantly boosting its U.S. footprint to about 49% of the Osaka, Japan-based company's overall business. Some of its focus on rare diseases was brought into the company through the Shire acquisition.

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An example of these partnerships at work is Takeda's team-up with Prime Therapeutics, a pharmacy benefit manager owned by 18 Blues plans, for its hemophilia A treatment Advate, which was unveiled in December 2020.

Therapies for hemophilia have proliferated of late but may have a high price tag. A value-based arrangement allows for further evaluation of the impacts of a drug in a crowded market. 

The arrangement between Takeda and Prime accounts for the total cost of care, including emergency department visits, that a patient may experience.

“Our work since pioneering such contracts over a decade ago has been targeted and intentional—and this agreement with Takeda is no different,” said Kelly McGrail-Pokuta, vice president of trade relations and strategy and chief trade relations officer at Prime, in a statement. “Members with hemophilia need treatments that work for them at a reasonable price, and that’s exactly what drives this collaboration.”

The trust required to make these partnerships work is built into Takeda's foundation, Sequeira said. Many pharmaceutical companies center on four areas in their strategy: patients, trust, reputation and the business. 

At Takeda, the middle two elements are at the forefront, she said.

"I think we are unique in the space with the amount of emphasis we put on trust and reputation," Sequeira said. "I think it's just an important part of Takeda's story."