Value of Treatment for Brain Disorders : bridging the early diagnosis and treatment gap, an innovative approach from case studies data analysis towards evidence-based policy recommendations

A Plenary Working Groups meeting took place on 18 January 2017 to present case studies preliminary results followed by an Experts Roundtable. The case studies covered a range of brain disorders including Schizophrenia, Stroke, Epilepsy, PD, RLS, Headache, MS and Alzheimer’s disease. The Experts Roundtable discussion focused on the issues of policy, access to care, innovations in e-health and stigma. Panelists included: Prof. Lieven Annemans (Senior Professor of Health Economics at the University of Ghent), Johan Frederik Hel Guedj (Journalist at Echo), Dr. Thomas Allvin (Director Healthcare Systems, EFPIA), Prof. Anja Declercq (Responsible for the Belgian Ministry of Health’s Resident Assessment Instrument Project, BeIRAI), Aagje Leven (Secretary General of EUFAMI) and Alejandro Sanchez-Rico de la Heras (Director eHealth at Artica Telemedicina). The session was introduced by Vinciane Quoidbach, EBC Research Project Manager and was moderated by Prof. David Nutt, EBC President and Prof. Martin Knapp, London School of Economics.

The Value of Treatment (VoT) for Brain Disorders research project (2015-2017) draws from the EBC Report “The Economic Cost of Brain Disorders in Europe” published in 2005 (Balak and Elmaci 2007) and updated in 2010 (Gustavsson et al. 2011) that provided a solid estimation on the costs of brain disorders in Europe and enlightened necessary public health policy implications.

In the continuity of these findings and as highlighted in EBC first Discussion Paper released on 27 January 2016, VoT aims to:

– Provide evidence-based information to overcome the early diagnosis and treatment gap in specific healthcare intervention(s) in a cost-effective manner ;

– Develop optimized care pathways for patients ;

– Provide evidence-based data for high value healthcare solutions and policy recommendations for a more patient-centred (« shared clinical decision making ») and seamless care model for brain disorders.

Based on the research methodology determined by two Academic Partners (the London School of Economics for the “economic evaluation” and the Rotterdam Institute of Health Policy and Management for the “patient journey analysis”), VoT is developing case studies analysing (i) health gains and (ii) socio-economic impacts resulting from best practice health interventions. The neuropsychiatric disorders of focus are the following: mental illness comorbidity, schizophrenia, dementia, idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus, AF stroke, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis and restless legs syndrome. Outcomes are assessed using clinical indicators and patient outcome indicators for defined patients groups.

The benefits of best clinical practice interventions are compared with the current standard of care or, where appropriate, non-treatment. The comparisons take account of cost burdens (including socio-economic costs) to assess value.

Case studies analysis are being conducted by Working Groups formed with high level experts within the network of EBC member organizations (e.g. European Academy of Neurology) as well as industry and patient associations representatives.

A Policy White Paper will be released on 22 June at final conference under the auspices of the Maltese EU Presidency. Scientific publications will also be released in 2017.