Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Afatinib, Erlotinib, and Gefitinib as First-Line Treatments for EGFR Mutation-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer in Ontario, Canada Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare the cost effectiveness of first-line epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer. METHODS: This study used Ontario Cancer Registry-linked administrative data to identify patients with a primary diagnosis of lung cancer who received EGFR-TKIs as first-line treatment between 1 January, 2014 and 31 August, 2019. A net benefit regression approach accounting for baseline covariates and propensity scores was used to estimate incremental net benefits and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Outcome measures were calculated over a 68-month period and were discounted with an annual rate of 1.5%. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess and characterize the uncertainties. RESULTS: A total of 547 patients were included in the study, of whom 20.1%, 23.6%, and 56.3% received afatinib, erlotinib, and gefitinib, respectively. Erlotinib was dominated by afatinib and gefitinib. Compared to gefitinib, afatinib was associated with higher effectiveness (adjusted incremental quality-adjusted life-year: 0.21), higher total costs (adjusted incremental costs: $9745), and an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $46,506 per quality-adjusted life-year gained. Results from the sensitivity analyses indicated the findings of the base-case analysis were robust. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to previously published studies, our study established head-to-head comparisons of effectiveness and treatment-related costs of first-line EGFR-TKIs. Our findings suggest afatinib was the most cost-effective option among the three EGFR-TKIs.


  • Kim, Yong-Jin
  • Oremus, Mark
  • Chen, Helen H
  • McFarlane, Thomas
  • Fearon, Danielle
  • Horton, Susan

publication date

  • May 2021