Ushering in a New Era of Cancer Immunotherapies in NSCLC, Malignant Melanoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma, and SCCHN The field of cancer immunotherapy has witnessed considerable advances over the past few years, notably with the advent of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Three immune checkpoint inhibitors—Yervoy (ipilimumab), Keytruda (pembrolizumab), and Opdivo (nivolumab)—are approved for malignant melanoma, and Opdivo became the first anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) agent and immunotherapy to gain approval for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in early 2015. Current immune checkpoint inhibitors have the potential to gain approvals for additional oncology indications. In addition, several drug developers are positioned in the race to bring new immune checkpoint inhibitors to the market, and there is considerable excitement about the potential of combinatorial approaches involving immune checkpoint inhibitors. In the context of rising oncology drug costs, devising a smart pricing strategy will be crucial to ensure market access, secure reimbursement, maximize uptake, and realize commercial potential.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors represent an emerging treatment area in oncology. What role do current immune checkpoint inhibitors play in oncology?

  • Treatment decisions are driven by a number of factors, which may evolve over time. What factors most strongly influence and constrain surveyed physicians’ prescribing of immune checkpoint inhibitors in malignant melanoma and NSCLC? What are surveyed physicians’ views on emerging immune checkpoint inhibitors in late-phase development? How do surveyed physicians expect prescribing of immune checkpoint inhibitors to change in the future, and what factors, if any, will drive these changes?

  • Prescribing of checkpoint inhibitors will be influenced by reimbursement decisions made by payers. What factors mostly influence surveyed payers’ tier placement and formulation decisions for immune checkpoint inhibitors in oncology? What is their perception of current immune checkpoint inhibitors? How will managed care organization (MCO) reimbursement constraints—including tiering and formulary restrictions—impact the potential patient share of emerging immune checkpoint inhibitors?


This report, entitled U.S. Clinician and Payer Receptivity to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Oncology: Ushering in a New Era of Cancer Immunotherapies in NSCLC, Malignant Melanoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma, and SCCHN, captures surveyed medical oncologists’ and payers’ views on anticipated prescribing and reimbursement barriers for current immune checkpoint inhibitors in malignant melanoma and NSCLC. We also evaluate their perceptions of emerging immune checkpoint inhibitors in select solid-tumor indications.

Markets covered: United States.

Primary research: Online survey with 101 medical oncologists and 33 MCO PDs/MDs.

Author(s): Khurram Nawaz, M.Sc.

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