Cost effectiveness of primary pegfilgrastim prophylaxis in patients with breast cancer at risk of febrile neutropenia
SourceJournal of Clinical Oncology, 31, 34, (2013), pp. 4283-4289
Article / Letter to editor
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Medical Technology Assessment
Journal of Clinical Oncology
SubjectNCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; ONCOL 3: Translational research
PURPOSE: Guidelines advise primary granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) prophylaxis during chemotherapy if risk of febrile neutropenia (FN) is more than 20%, but this comes with considerable costs. We investigated the incremental costs and effects between two treatment strategies of primary pegfilgrastim prophylaxis. METHODS: Our economic evaluation used a health care perspective and was based on a randomized study in patients with breast cancer with increased risk of FN, comparing primary G-CSF prophylaxis throughout all chemotherapy cycles (G-CSF 1-6 cycles) with prophylaxis during the first two cycles only (G-CSF 1-2 cycles). Primary outcome was cost effectiveness expressed as costs per patient with episodes of FN prevented. RESULTS: The incidence of FN increased from 10% in the G-CSF 1 to 6 cycles study arm (eight of 84 patients) to 36% in the G-CSF 1 to 2 cycles study arm (30 of 83 patients), whereas the mean total costs decreased from euro 20,658 (95% CI, euro 20,049 to euro 21,247) to euro 17,168 (95% CI euro 16,239 to euro 18,029) per patient, respectively. Chemotherapy and G-CSF determined 80% of the total costs. As expected, FN-related costs were higher in the G-CSF 1 to 2 cycles arm. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio for the G-CSF 1 to 6 cycles arm compared with the G-CSF 1 to 2 cycles arm was euro 13,112 per patient with episodes of FN prevented. CONCLUSION: We conclude that G-CSF prophylaxis throughout all chemotherapy cycles is more effective, but more costly, compared with prophylaxis limited to the first two cycles. Whether G-CSF prophylaxis throughout all chemotherapy cycles is considered cost effective depends on the willingness to pay per patient with episodes of FN prevented.
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