Background: We analyzed the cost-effectiveness of treating incident chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (CML-CP) with generic imatinib when it becomes available in United States in 2016. In the year following generic entry, imatinib's price is expected to drop 70% to 90%. We hypothesized that initiating treatment with generic imatinib in these patients and then switching to the other tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKIs), dasatinib or nilotinib, because of intolerance or lack of effectiveness (×quot;imatinib-first×quot;) would be cost-effective compared with the current standard of care: ×quot;physicians' choice×quot; of initiating treatment with any one of the three TKIs. Methods: We constructed Markov models to compare the five-year cost-effectiveness of imatinib-first vs physician's choice from a US commercial payer perspective, assuming 3% annual discounting (×dollar;US 2013). The models' clinical endpoint was five-year overall survival taken from a systematic review of clinical trial results. Per-person spending on incident CML-CP treatment overall care components was estimated using Truven's MarketScan claims data. The main outcome of the models was cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). We interpreted outcomes based on a willingness-to-pay threshold of ×dollar;100 000/QALY. A panel of European LeukemiaNet experts oversaw the study's conduct. Results: Both strategies met the threshold. Imatinib-first (×dollar;277 401, 3.87 QALYs) offered patients a 0.10 decrement in QALYs at a savings of ×dollar;88 343 over five years to payers compared with physician's choice (×dollar;365 744, 3.97 QALYs). The imatinibfirst incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was approximately ×dollar;883 730/QALY. The results were robust to multiple sensitivity analyses. Conclusion: When imatinib loses patent protection and its price declines, its use will be the cost-effective initial treatment strategy for CML-CP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research