Author(s): Cantor SB, Elting LS, Hudson DV Jr, Rubenstein EB
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown oprelvekin (recombinant human interleukin-11 [rhIL-11]) to be effective in reducing the requirements for platelet transfusions after myelosuppressive chemotherapy in patients who have previously experienced thrombocytopenia. The economic consequences of the routine use of this platelet growth factor and the usual standard of platelet transfusions for prophylaxis of severe chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia have not been compared. METHODS: The authors constructed a decision-analytic model to compare the alternatives of rhIL-11 versus usual care using probability, outcome, and cost data from previously published clinical trials and their own institutional sources. They incorporated the costs of platelet transfusions and adverse events from rhIL-11 into the analysis. Quality-of-life outcomes were not considered. The pharmacoeconomic analysis was based on the criterion of cost minimization from the payer's perspective. RESULTS: The expected cost of the usual care strategy for prophylaxis of severe thrombocytopenia (transfusion when platelets < 20000 microL(-1)) was US dollars 3495 for a 3-week cycle of chemotherapy. The prophylactic rhIL-11 strategy was more expensive, with an expected cost of US dollars 5328 over the same time period. Nonetheless, it was associated with fewer platelet transfusions, avoiding an average of 6.7 U compared with usual care. The savings from avoidance of platelet transfusion and adverse reactions to transfusion from the use of rhIL-11 were not offset by the substantial cost of the pharmaceutical. The greater expected costs from the rhIL-11 strategy were relatively insensitive to the unit price and efficacy of rhIL-11 and the costs of platelet transfusions and monitoring. CONCLUSIONS: From the payer's perspective, rhIL-11 cannot be considered a cost-saving clinical strategy compared with routine platelet transfusions for patients with severe chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.
This article was published in Cancer
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta