A recently published review of real-world claims data suggests that opioid use disorder patients prescribed Pear Therapeutics' reSET-O digital therapeutic, alongside pharmacotherapy, had fewer clinical encounters and subsequently decreased medical costs over a six-month period.
The study was funded by Pear, coauthored by a Pear employee and published in the journal Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research. Among its sample of 351 opioid use disorder (OUD) patients, the authors found an overall net cost reduction of $2,150 per patient – representing savings for payers that would offset the cost of reSET-O itself, according to the company.
“These newly shared data reinforce how reSET-O can improve total quality of care while reducing the main healthcare cost drivers in OUD,” Dr. Corey McCann, president and CEO of Pear Therapeutics, said in a statement. “Real-world patient outcomes support the cost-impact of reSET-O. Payers who are not providing access to the product are sacrificing better outcomes and healthcare savings.”
Among the 1,265 OUD patients who activated the reSET-O product within the study window, at least four weeks of continuous medical enrollment data before and after activation was available for 351, while medical and pharmacy data was available for 334. These patients were at a mean age of 37 years, and 82.6% were covered by Medicaid.
The study found pharmacy claims for the OUD pharmacotherapy buprenorphine for 71.9% of patients prior to and after activating reSET-O, (76.7% before, 72.8% after). Adherence to buprenorphine was high among those with a claim both before (medication possession ratio = 0.73) and after (medication possession ratio = 0.82) activation of the digital therapeutic.
Facility and services encounters both declined following activation of reSET-O, according to the study.
For the former, the researchers saw a significant (P = .024) decline of 45 fewer inpatient visits, and a weaker (P = .247) decline of 27 emergency department visits. Patients' less frequently encountered several different types of clinical services, although the declines were only significant for drug testing (638 fewer, P < .0001), psychiatry (349 fewer, P = .036), other pathology or laboratory services (166 fewer, P = .039), and surgery (60 fewer, P = .07).
However, the study also saw an insignificant (p = .124) increase of 111 behavioral rehabilitation services encounters, and a significant (P = .097) rise of 61 mental health rehabilitation encounters.
All together, the study identified a total of 1,181 fewer claims among 351 patients following the activation of reSET-O. These claims represented a savings of $754,657, or about $2,150 per patient.
"These findings are especially noteworthy given the high buprenorphine treatment and adherence rates observed in this cohort both pre- and post-index and support an incremental benefit of reSET-O in real-world, usual care conditions," the authors wrote.
HOW IT WAS DONE
To conduct their retrospective study, the researchers collected medical and pharmacy claims from January 1, 2018 to April 10, 2019. They compared the incidences of various encounters and procedures among these patients during the six months before and after activation of reSET-O, and calculated the costs of these using published facility costs for OUD patient stays and the 2020 CMS fee schedule.
WHAT'S THE TREND?
Pear received FDA clearance for reSET-O at the tail end of 2018, and worked with Novartis' Sandoz division to distribute the digital therapeutic until October of last year, when the companies announced and end to their commercialization arrangement. Within the last several months, the OUD therapy picked up formulary coverage under RemedyOne and Serve You Rx.
The treatment is one of three products from Pear that has received the FDA's blessing. The others are reSET, the company's substance abuse digital therapeutic that received a De Novo clearance in 2017, and Somryst, which passed through both the 510(k) and experimental Pre-Cert pathways in March. Also on the market, in a more limited capacity due to COVID-19 contingencies, is Pear-004.