Back to Journals » ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research » Volume 4

Cross-market cost-effectiveness analysis of erlotinib as first-line maintenance treatment for patients with stable non-small cell lung cancer

Authors vergnenegre A, Ray, Chouaid C, Grossi, Bischoff, Heigener D, Walzer S

Received 7 September 2011

Accepted for publication 14 October 2011

Published 26 January 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 31—37


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Alain Vergnenègre1, Joshua A Ray2, Christos Chouaid3, Francesco Grossi4, Helge G Bischoff5, David F Heigener6, Stefan Walzer2
1Department of Pneumology, Hôpital du Cluzeau, Limoges, France; 2Global Health Economics and Strategic Pricing, F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland; 3Respiratory Service, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Paris, France; 4Lung Cancer Unit, National Institute for Cancer Research, Genoa, Italy; 5Thoracic Oncology, Onkologie Thoraxklinik Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; 6Department of Thoracic Oncology, Krankenhaus Großhansdorf, Großhansdorf, Germany

Background: Platinum-doublet, first-line treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is limited to 4–6 cycles. An alternative strategy used to prolong the duration of first-line treatment and extend survival in metastatic NSCLC is first-line maintenance therapy. Erlotinib was approved for first-line maintenance in a stable disease population following results from a randomized, controlled Phase III trial comparing erlotinib with best supportive care. We aimed to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of erlotinib 150 mg/day versus best supportive care when used as first-line maintenance therapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC and stable disease.
Methods: An economic decision model was developed using patient-level data for progression-free survival and overall survival from the SATURN (SequentiAl Tarceva in UnResectable NSCLC) study. An area under the curve model was developed; all patients entered the model in the progression-free survival health state and, after each month, moved to progression or death. A time horizon of 5 years was used. The model was conducted from the perspective of national health care payers in France, Germany, and Italy. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.
Results: Treatment with erlotinib in first-line maintenance resulted in a mean life expectancy of 1.39 years in all countries, compared with a mean 1.11 years with best supportive care, which represents 0.28 life-years (3.4 life-months) gained with erlotinib versus best supportive care. In the base-case analysis, the cost per life-year gained was €39,783, €46,931, and €27,885 in France, Germany, and Italy, respectively.
Conclusion: Erlotinib is a cost-effective treatment option when used as first-line maintenance therapy for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC.

Keywords: non-small cell lung cancer, cost-effectiveness, first-line maintenance, erlotinib, lung cancer

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]