Purpose: Skeletal-related events (SREs) such as pathologic fracture, spinal cord compression, or the necessity for radiation or surgery to bone metastasis cause considerable morbidity, decrements in quality of life, and costs to the health care system. The results of a recent large randomized trial (Cancer and Leukemia Group B/Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology [CALGB/Alliance 70604]) showed that zoledronic acid (ZA) every 3 months was noninferior to monthly ZA in reducing the risks of SREs. We sought to determine the cost-effectiveness (CE) of monthly ZA, ZA every 3 months, and monthly denosumab in women with breast cancer and skeletal metastases. Methods: Using a Markov model, costs per SRE avoided were calculated for the three treatments. Sensitivity analyses were performed where denosumab SRE probabilities were assumedto be 50%, 75%, and 90% lower than the ZA SRE probabilities. Quality-adjusted life-years were also calculated. The analysis was from the US payer perspective. Results: The mean costs of the denosumab treatment strategy are nine-fold higher than generic ZA every 3 months. Quality-adjusted life-years were virtually identical in all the three treatment arms; hence, the optimal treatment would be ZA every 3 months because it was the least costly treatment. The sensitivity analyses showed that relative to ZA every 3 months, the incremental costs per mean SRE avoided for denosumab ranged from $162,918 to $347,655. Conclusion: ZA every 3 months was more CE in reducing the risks of SRE than monthly denosumab. This analysis was one of the first to incorporate the costs of generic ZA and one of the first independent CE analyses not sponsored by either Novartis or Amgen, the makers of ZA and denosumab, respectively. ZA every 3 months is the more CE option and more reasonable alternative to monthly denosumab.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research