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Maintenance erlotinib in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer: cost-effectiveness in EGFR wild-type across Europe

Authors Walleser, Ray, Bischoff, vergnenegre A , Rosery H, Chouaid C, Heigener D, de Castro, Tiseo M , Walzer S

Received 14 March 2012

Accepted for publication 16 May 2012

Published 14 September 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 269—275


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Silke Walleser,1 Joshua Ray,2 Helge Bischoff,3 Alain Vergnenègre,4 Hubertus Rosery,5 Christos Chouaid,6 David Heigener,7 Javier de Castro Carpeño,8 Marcello Tiseo,9 Stefan Walzer2

1Health Economic Consultancy, Renens, Switzerland; 2F Hoffmann-La Roche Pharmaceuticals AG, Basel, Switzerland; 3Thoracic Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; 4Limoges University Hospital, Limoges, France; 5Assessment-in-Medicine GmbH, Loerrach, Germany; 6Hospital Saint Antoine, Paris, France; 7Hospital Grosshansdorf, Grosshansdorf, Germany; 8University Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain; 9University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy

Background: First-line maintenance erlotinib in patients with locally advanced or metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has demonstrated significant overall survival and progression-free survival benefits compared with best supportive care plus placebo, irrespective of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) status (SATURN trial). The cost-effectiveness of first-line maintenance erlotinib in the overall SATURN population has been assessed and published recently, but analyses according to EGFR mutation status have not been performed yet, which was the rationale for assessing the cost-effectiveness of first-line maintenance erlotinib specifically in EGFR wild-type metastatic NSCLC.
Methods: The incremental cost per life-year gained of first-line maintenance erlotinib compared with best supportive care in patients with EGFR wild-type stable metastatic NSCLC was assessed for five European countries (the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy) with an area-under-the-curve model consisting of three health states (progression-free survival, progressive disease, death). Log-logistic survival functions were fitted to Phase III patient-level data (SATURN) to model progression-free survival and overall survival. The first-line maintenance erlotinib therapy cost (modeled for time to treatment cessation), medication cost in later lines, and cost for the treatment of adverse events were included. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses using Monte Carlo simulation (1000 iterations) were performed.
Results: According to the model simulations, first-line maintenance erlotinib compared with best supportive care in EGFR wild-type stable metastatic NSCLC resulted in 4.57 months of life gained (17.82 months for erlotinib versus 13.24 months for best supportive care) and 1.14 months of life without progression gained (erlotinib 4.29 versus best supportive care 3.15), and incremental total costs of erlotinib from €7897 (UK) to €9580 (Germany). The corresponding mean incremental cost per life-year gained of erlotinib ranged between €20,711 (UK) and €25,124 (Germany). Sensitivity analyses confirmed these results.
Conclusion: First-line erlotinib maintenance treatment is cost-effective compared with best supportive care in EGFR wild-type stable metastatic NSCLC, irrespective of the country setting.

Keywords: nonsmall cell lung cancer, erlotinib, cost-benefit analysis, epidermal growth factor receptor, wild-type, Europe

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