Cost-Effectiveness and Value of Information of Erlotinib, Afatinib, and Cisplatin-Pemetrexed for First-Line Treatment of Advanced EGFR Mutation-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer in the United States

Jie Ting, PharmD Tien Ho, Pin Xiang, Amanda Sugay, Maher Abdel-Sattar, Leslie Wilson
Value in Health: the Journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 2015, 18 (6): 774-82

OBJECTIVES: To determine the cost-effectiveness of tyrosine kinase inhibitors erlotinib or afatinib, or chemotherapy cisplatin-pemetrexed, for first-line treatment of advanced epithelial growth factor receptor mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer in the United States. We also assessed the expected benefit of further research to reduce uncertainty regarding which treatment is optimal.

METHODS: We developed a Markov model to compare the cost-effectiveness of erlotinib, afatinib, and cisplatin-pemetrexed. Model transition and adverse-effect probabilities were from two published phase III trials: EURTAC (Erlotinib versus standard chemotherapy as first-line treatment for European patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer) and LUX-Lung (Afatinib versus cisplatin-based chemotherapy for EGFR mutation-positive lung adenocarcinoma) 3. EURTAC survival estimates were corrected for patients entering the trial with more severe disease, compared with LUX-Lung 3. Health utilities and costs were from national estimates or the published literature. Inputs were modeled as distributions for probabilistic sensitivity analysis and expected value of perfect information (EVPI) analysis to estimate the expected benefit of reducing uncertainty regarding the decision of optimal treatment.

RESULTS: In the base case, both tyrosine kinase inhibitors were more cost-effective than cisplatin-pemetrexed. Erlotinib had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $61,809/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) compared with afatinib. The acceptability curve showed that erlotinib was the optimal treatment at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000/QALY (10-year population EVPI = $85.9 million). At a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000/QALY to $70,000/QALY (EVPI = $211.5 million-$261.8 million), however, there was considerable uncertainty whether erlotinib or afatinib was the optimal treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis suggests that erlotinib is the preferred first-line treatment for advanced epithelial growth factor receptor mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer. Further research comparing erlotinib and afatinib is potentially justified, although accurate data are needed on the required cost and sample size of the trial.

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