Blue Light Cystoscopy: Clinical Benefits Highlighted in New Study, Supporting Increased Reimbursement

Photocure ASA, The Bladder Cancer Company, is pleased to announce the publication of a groundbreaking study in Urologic Oncology this week. Entitled ‘Clinical and Economic Impact of Blue Light Cystoscopy in the Management of NMIBC* at U.S. Ambulatory Surgical Centers: What is the Site-of-Service Disparity?’, the research aims to quantify the clinical and economic benefits of introducing BLC in the management of NMIBC at ambulatory surgical centers. The study takes into account patient-physician coverage and reimbursement policies stipulated by the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) for 2022.

Dr. Neal Shore and Meghan B. Gavaghan, MPH, recently conducted a study to compare the projected costs of bladder cancer treatment in a two-year follow-up involving white light cystoscopy (WLC) alone versus WLC plus blue light cystoscopy (BLC®). Using AUA/SUO clinical guidelines and Medicare reimbursement rates, they created a budget impact model to measure the impact of staging and biopsy rates. Photocure generously provided an unrestricted grant to support this research.

Outpatient BLC in the ASC setting for NMIBC surveillance is a more effective approach than white light cystoscopy alone, identifying five additional recurrences. While this does result in an increased cost of care for NMIBC of $110 per cystoscopy over two years, it also helps to prevent more costly treatments that would be required if recurrences were missed and the disease was allowed to progress.

The findings of this study demonstrate that the Medicare program is likely to incur increased costs due to the current discrepancy in reimbursement that disincentivizes community-based ASCs from adopting BLC. This, in turn, leads to suboptimal patient care, while driving up downstream treatment costs for Medicare when missed diseases progress to higher stages/grades. These results have significant implications for the management of NMIBC, and should be taken into consideration when formulating healthcare policies that prioritize cost-effectiveness and improved patient outcomes.

At Photocure ASA, we are proud to be at the forefront of bladder cancer care with our innovative blue light cystoscopy (BLC) technology. A recent paper has highlighted the benefits of BLC when used in ambulatory surgery centers. While Medicare has taken a historic step towards improving reimbursement rates for bladder cancer care in both hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs), it is not yet enough to ensure broad access to BLC in the ASC setting. As a result, we are committed to continuing to partner with the medical community to advocate for improved Medicare coverage in the ASC setting.

Note to editors

Photocure ASA is proud to register Hexvix®/Cysview® and BLC® as their own trademarks. However, please be aware that the product details and information in this press release may not be available in your country and Photocure ASA takes no responsibility for accessing such information that could be in violation of any legal process, regulation, registration, or usage in your country of origin.

About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a prevalent and deadly disease that affects millions of people around the world. It is the 8th most common cancer worldwide and the 5th most common in men, with over 1.7 million people living with bladder cancer, 573 000 new cases diagnosed every year, and more than 200 000 deaths annually in 2020.

Bladder cancer is an unfortunately common ailment in men, with around 75% of all cases occurring in the male population. Unfortunately, the recurrence rate is also high, with up to 61% in the first year and up to 78% over the course of five years. On top of this, bladder cancer has the highest lifetime treatment costs per patient of all cancers.

Bladder cancer is a costly, progressive disease that causes immense suffering to patients who must endure multiple cystoscopies due to the high risk of recurrence. The urgency to improve the diagnosis and management of bladder cancer is paramount, both for the benefit of patients and for the healthcare systems that support them.

Bladder cancer is a serious condition that affects thousands of people each year, and is classified into two distinct types: non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). NMIBC, the most common type representing 75% of all cases, remains in the inner layer of cells lining the bladder, including subtypes Ta, carcinoma in situ (CIS), and T1 lesions. On the other hand, MIBC has grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall, including subtypes T2, T3, and T4, which are more aggressive and have a greater tendency to spread. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if diagnosed.

About Hexvix®/Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate HCl)

Hexvix/Cysview is a revolutionary drug that has revolutionized the way bladder cancer is detected and treated. During Blue Light Cystoscopy (BLC®), cancer cells glow bright pink due to the drug’s ability to accumulate preferentially within them. This allows for more complete and accurate detection of tumors, enabling doctors to make more informed decisions and provide more effective treatment. Hexvix/Cysview has made it possible for more tumors to be fully resected, leading to better outcomes for patients.

Cysview and Hexvix are Photocure’s revolutionary solutions to detect bladder cancer. With a presence in the U.S. and Canada through its Cysview tradename and in all other markets through Hexvix, Photocure is committed to making its solutions accessible to as many people as possible. Its strategic partnerships in China, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Israel ensure that Hexvix/Cysview is available in these regions as well.

About Photocure ASA

At Photocure, we are passionate about transforming the lives of bladder cancer patients. Our revolutionary technology, which makes cancer cells glow bright pink, has been proven to improve health outcomes around the world. Based in Oslo, Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: PHO), we strive to provide the best possible solutions for bladder cancer patients.

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