First ‘Digital Pill’ in oncology aims to improve outcomes and adherence for patients, says GlobalData

Following the recent announcement by Proteus Digital Health that sensor-embedded oral chemotherapy tablets could help to improve medication adherence,

Amrita Gujral, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the impact this new dosing form could have in the oncology industry:

“With the high cost, complex regimens and toxic side effects often seen with oral chemotherapy, Proteus’s choice to develop a sensor-embedded capecitabine tablet at no additional cost to patients or insurers looks to be a promising development in oncology. Furthermore, with capecitabine being prescribed for several oncology indications, the success of the new dosage form could make a large impact on prescribing decisions.

“However, this new dosage form does not take away the tablet burden for many patients, with many needing between six to eight tablets per day to make up their prescribed daily dose. It will be interesting to see if better patient monitoring and individualized counselling improve adherence and outcomes, or whether the tablet burden will be the more important factor influencing poor patient compliance.

“Proteus Digital Health states that the new capecitabine dosage formulation is currently being provided to Stage 3- 4 colorectal cancer patients at the University of Minnesota Health and Fairview Health Service through the mHealth program. Payments to Proteus are only received if adherence by the patient receiving the medicine improves to 80% or greater using the new formulation.

“This digital oral chemotherapy pill looks to provide healthcare teams with the vital information which can be used to calculate adherence and correctly intervene if missed doses have occurred, providing better patient-centered care and improved patient outcomes.

“Sensor embedded capecitabine is likely to be the first of many digital therapies to enter the oncology market, as experts increasingly look to technology to help address unmet clinical needs and provide real world health analytics. However, the extent of the impact on the pharmaceutical industry depends on the perception patients have of these digital technologies.”

More Media