Palbociclib in hormone receptor positive advanced breast cancer: A cost-utility analysis
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INTRODUCTION: The addition of palbociclib to letrozole improves progression-free survival in the first-line treatment of hormone receptor positive advanced breast cancer (ABC). This study assesses the cost-utility of palbociclib from the Canadian healthcare payer perspective. METHODS: A probabilistic discrete event simulation (DES) model was developed and parameterised with data from the PALOMA 1 and 2 trials and other sources. The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-month (QALM) gained for palbociclib was calculated. A time horizon of 15 years was used in the base case with costs and effectiveness discounted at 5% annually. Time-to- progression and time-to-death were derived from a Weibull and exponential distribution. Expected costs were based on Ontario fees and other sources. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to account for parameter uncertainty. RESULTS: Compared to letrozole, the addition of palbociclib provided an additional 14.7 QALM at an incremental cost of $161,508. The resulting incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $10,999/QALM gained. Assuming a willingness-to-pay (WTP) of $4167/QALM, the probability of palbociclib to be cost-effective was 0%. Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves derived from a probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that at a WTP of $11,000/QALM gained, the probability of palbociclib to be cost-effective was 50%. CONCLUSION: The addition of palbociclib to letrozole is unlikely to be cost-effective for the treatment of ABC from a Canadian healthcare perspective with its current price. While ABC patients derive a meaningful clinical benefit from palbociclib, considerations should be given to increase the WTP threshold and reduce the drug pricing, to render this strategy more affordable.
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