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Cost-effectiveness of an aprepitant regimen for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients with breast cancer in the UK

Authors Humphreys S, Pellissier J, Jones A

Received 27 February 2013

Accepted for publication 12 April 2013

Published 8 August 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 215—224


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Samantha Humphreys,1 James Pellissier,2 Alison Jones3

1Market Access Department, Merck Sharp and Dohme Ltd, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, UK; 2Health Economic Statistics, Merck Research Laboratories, Upper Gwynedd, PA, USA; 3Department of Medical Oncology, University College Hospital, London, UK

Purpose: Prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remains an important goal for patients receiving chemotherapy. The objective of this study was to define, from the UK payer perspective, the cost-effectiveness of an antiemetic regimen using aprepitant, a selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist, for patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Methods: A decision-analytic model was developed to compare an aprepitant regimen (aprepitant, ondansetron, and dexamethasone) with a standard UK antiemetic regimen (ondansetron, dexamethasone, and metoclopramide) for expected costs and health outcomes after single-day adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. The model was populated with results from patients with breast cancer participating in a randomized trial of CINV preventative therapy for cycle 1 of single-day chemotherapy.
Results: During 5 days after chemotherapy, 64% of patients receiving the aprepitant regimen and 47% of those receiving the UK comparator regimen had a complete response to antiemetic therapy (no emesis and no rescue antiemetic therapy). A mean of £37.11 (78%) of the cost of aprepitant was offset by reduced health care resource utilization costs. The predicted gain in quality-adjusted lifeyears (QALYs) with the aprepitant regimen was 0.0048. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) with aprepitant, relative to the UK comparator, was £10,847/QALY, which is well below the threshold commonly accepted in the UK of £20,000–£30,000/QALY.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that aprepitant is cost-effective for preventing CINV associated with chemotherapy for patients with breast cancer in the UK health care setting.

Keywords: antiemetic therapy, emesis, CINV

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