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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

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CEOR.S25923

Review by Single-blind

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

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