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Economic implications of using bendamustine, alemtuzumab, or chlorambucil as a first-line therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the US: a cost-effectiveness analysis

Authors Kongnakorn T, Sterchele J, Salvador C, Getsios D, Mwamburi M

Received 28 September 2013

Accepted for publication 25 November 2013

Published 1 April 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 141—149


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Thitima Kongnakorn,1 James A Sterchele,2 Christopher G Salvador,3 Denis Getsios,4 Mkaya Mwamburi5

1Evidera, Bangkok, Thailand; 2formerly of Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R&D, Inc, Frazer, PA, 3Oncology Market Research, Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R&D, Inc, Frazer, PA, 4Evidera, Lexington, MA, 5Tufts University School of Medicine, Public Health and Community Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Background: The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of using bendamustine versus alemtuzumab or bendamustine versus chlorambucil as a first-line therapy in patients with Binet stage B or C chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in the US.
Methods: A discrete event simulation of the disease course of CLL was developed to evaluate the economic implications of single-agent treatment with bendamustine, alemtuzumab, or chlorambucil, which are indicated for a treatment-naïve patient population with Binet stage B or C CLL. Data from clinical trials were used to create a simulated patient population, risk equations for progression-free survival and survival post disease progression, response rates, and rates of adverse events. Costs from a US health care payer perspective in 2012 US dollars, survival (life years), and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were estimated over a patient's lifetime; all were discounted at 3% per year.
Results: Compared with alemtuzumab, bendamustine was considered to be a dominant treatment providing greater benefit (6.10 versus 5.37 life years and 4.02 versus 3.45 QALYs) at lower cost ($78,776 versus $121,441). Compared with chlorambucil, bendamustine was associated with higher costs ($78,776 versus $42,337) but with improved health outcomes (6.10 versus 5.21 life years and 4.02 versus 3.30 QALYs), resulting in incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of $40,971 per life year gained and $50,619 per QALY gained.
Conclusion: Bendamustine is expected to provide cost savings and greater health benefit than alemtuzumab in treatment-naïve patients with CLL. Furthermore, it can be considered as a cost-effective treatment providing health benefits at an acceptable cost versus chlorambucil in the US.

Keywords: bendamustine, chlorambucil, alemtuzumab, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, cost-effectiveness, discrete event simulation model

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