Cost-minimisation analysis of erlotinib in the second-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer: a Brazilian perspective

Stephen Doral Stefani, Mario Giorgio Saggia, Eduardo Augustus Vicino dos Santos
Journal of Medical Economics 2008, 11 (3): 383-96

OBJECTIVE: A cost-minimisation and budget impact analysis of erlotinib versus docetaxel or pemetrexed as second-line treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

METHODS: Costs and budgetary impacts were estimated from the perspective of a Brazilian private healthcare payer, based on results of the BR.21 study of erlotinib and pivotal trials of docetaxel and pemetrexed. A 126-day timeframe was evaluated, based on the progression-free survival determined for erlotinib in BR.21. A Delphi panel identified local practices and associated costs in Brazil. Other costs accounted for included medical payments, pre- and post-chemotherapy medication and drug administration costs. Multivariate sensitivity analyses were performed, but given the short time frame used, discounting was not applied.

RESULTS: Total costs were R$26,825 for erlotinib, R$42,284 for docetaxel and R$79,841 for pemetrexed. Cost savings with erlotinib were attributable to lower acquisition costs (R$26,795 vs. R$40,217 for docetaxel and R$78,911 for pemetrexed) and lower costs for the management of side effects. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the results. The budget impact analysis showed savings with erlotinib in the first year, ranging from R$3 million to R$28 million.

CONCLUSION: Erlotinib is cost-saving over established chemotherapy in the second-line treatment of advanced NSCLC under the Brazilian private healthcare system.

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