Sanofi is looking for more ‘real-world’ insight into its drug development and product lifecycle strategies by tying up with pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions to help deliver value propositions that can withstand tough scrutiny from regulators and payers.

The global, multi-year agreement between Sanofi, Medco Health Solutions and the latter’s wholly owned subsidiary United BioSource Corporation (UBC) is designed to support real-world evidence assessments during Sanofi’s product development and pre-/post-approval processes, underpinning improvements in the overall quality of patient care. No detailed terms of the arrangement were released.

According to the new partners, the agreement will enable Sanofi to identify more precisely patient populations with the greatest unmet medical need and will help to determine which populations drugs will be most effective in.

It will also generate real-world comparative effectiveness data to support product value that can satisfy stakeholder evidence requirements, while facilitating “the development and implementation of novel care models to improve practice of care, adherence and patient outcomes”, the companies said.

The aim is to build a “consolidated representation” of payer, manufacturer and researcher insight throughout the product lifecycle, one that will support improved health outcomes and deliver “meaningful” benefits to patients, healthcare providers and payers. 

“Some products that seemed to hold promise in early research, might not deliver the intended results when used in real-world practice,” noted Dr Robert Epstein, Medco’s clinical research and development officer. “This partnership will use real-world evidence to develop products that demonstrate value in real-world settings, enabling Sanofi to support high-quality, cost-effective care.”

Comprehensive solutions

Medco and UCB offer, “robust capabilities to help us close the gap between R&D and the real-world clinical setting,” added Sanofi’s chief medical officer, Jean-Pierre Lehner. “Through this agreement, we will make the leap from discovering and marketing new medicines to providing comprehensive healthcare solutions that are proven to drive safety, effectiveness and relative value for our stakeholders.”

The partners cited Medco’s and UCB’s “unique and complementary” resources in the areas of real-world evidence, comparative effectiveness, personalised medicine/pharmacogenomics, health economics, safety research and clinical/adherence support.