• Blog Post

Finding the Value in VBCs

Publish Date

17 AUG 2022


Dan Van Horn


The desire to implement value-based contracts (VBCs) is increasingly attractive in the biopharma world, in an attempt to manage healthcare costs for patients, while supporting the important work that goes into the development of an innovative therapy.

Five to ten years ago, the concept of VBCs was a novel idea to help deliver cost-effective medicines for patients, with the aspirational goal of setting a price based on the health outcomes delivered for patients. 


Now as companies begin to explore and solidify these contracts, the benefits are becoming clearer. From a company perspective, we want to show the value we believe our products can deliver. Externally in the market, payers, health care professionals and even patients are increasingly - and proactively - seeking cost-effective, evidence-based outcomes.

However, it isn’t always easy to see or find the value; it can be hard to get meaningful data due to limited resources. And there are inherent challenges that come with these contracts – data collection, reporting, regulatory challenges, agreement on contract terms – that do not allow these agreements to easily fit across the healthcare continuum.

But when healthcare players align on VBCs, it can help ensure patient access to drugs for hard-to-treat medical conditions.

At EMD Serono, we consider each conversation around a value-based agreement to be a unique discussion; there is no cookie-cutter approach to putting these patient-directed agreements in place. Having the right partner and choosing the right metrics are two of the most critical factors when approaching an innovative contracting strategy and implementation.

To optimize a value-based opportunity with all parties, we leverage some guiding principles:

  • Need: VBCs should clearly define the need for patients, and should be implemented with clear objectives
  • Success: Defined measures for success should be set to ensure alignment between all healthcare players
  • Value: The value and attractiveness of the contract should be assessed from all perspectives, including payers, providers and most importantly, patients
  • Feasibility: Contract feasibility should be evaluated based on implementation requirements, both from an internal and external perspective

EMD Serono currently has a number of outcomes-based contracts in the market, which were developed via a multi-disciplinary approach across our customer account teams, health economic and outcomes research/medical teams, access marketing and various internal support functions, in addition to alignment with our senior leadership team members. We rigorously review the contracts’ results yearly to ensure data alignment with our business partners, and most importantly, to ensure we are meeting the needs of the patients.

Every decision and contribution we make has an impact on the lives of patients and their loved ones. And these types of agreements can showcase our medications and their value proposition, while collecting real world data to show the positive impact for patients.

That’s why EMD Serono will continue to leverage the learnings we are gathering from our current VBCs, incorporating the perspectives of others to better shape the way we design and deliver our products. It’s one of the many ways we can achieve our mission as we help to create, improve, and prolong life – As One for Patients.