A Closer Look at Advances in Hemophilia Treatment

October 13, 2020 Karen Powell

Hemophilia occurs in about one of every 5000 male births and being diagnosed with it isn’t easy for anyone, including parents of newborns. It is stressful, both physically and emotionally. In 1828 when hemophilia was first diagnosed, very little was known about the disease, including how many people were affected, who was at risk, or what caused the disease. Hemophilia was primarily known by its visible impacts and the pain experienced from uncontrolled bleeding. Through the years, hundreds of dedicated researchers, physicians, nurses, parents, patients, and caregivers have worked to make a difference and bring hope to those suffering from this disease.

We now know hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder caused by insufficient blood clotting factors that can cause excessive internal and external bleeding. Symptoms typically involve bleeding episodes and significant joint related problems from repeated bleeding into those joints. Hemophilia can range from mild to life-threatening and cause significant health concerns, such as chronic swelling, deformity, reduced mobility, and long-term joint damage.

Treatment traditionally involves replacing missing clotting factor in the blood, and is often expensive, depending upon the severity of disease. Additionally, treatment is more complicated in cases where antibodies that work against the clotting factors, called inhibitors, develop. However, a newer treatment for hemophilia A, with a different mechanism of action, became available in the past few years. Hemlibra® (emicizumab-kxwh) works by replacing the function of factor, rather than replacing the missing clotting factor, helping blood to clot normally, and, therefore, reducing blood loss and damage to joints and other tissues.

Today, opportunities exist to improve the care of hemophilia members in fee-for-service Medicaid programs by ensuring accurate and efficient dosing, improving adherence, and monitoring bleeds. Conduent is committed to helping state Medicaid programs with their pharmacy utilization coverage, looking at the impact of such new and existing drugs on utilization and resource management, reviewing the clinical efficacy and effectiveness.

In a recent published report in First Report Managed Care , our Clinical Pharmacist and solution expert discusses Conduent’s research on the impact of Hemlibra® in treating hemophilia A and describes outcomes on cost and utilization associated with emicizumab-kxwh treatment. The results showed that this new therapy was associated with a decrease in both pharmacy and medical costs in patients with hemophilia.

To learn more about this study, or our work in pharmacy benefit management, please reach out to karen.powell@conduent.com. You can also write to us at – govhealthcare@conduent.com

About the Author

Karen Powell

Karen M. Powell, PharmD, MS, Pharmacy Solutions Coordinator, Clinical Services Government Healthcare Solutions

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