Economic Considerations in the Use of Novel Targeted Therapies for Lung Cancer: Review of Current Literature

from PharmacoEconomics at on August 31, 2017 at 09:06AM


Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death and economic burden worldwide. Despite the heavy toll of lung cancer, multiple new advances have improved patient outcomes, largely through precision medicine and targeted therapy. The associated rising economic burden however may impact the uptake of novel therapeutic agents in lung cancer, thereby limiting patient access. This article identifies and reviews economic evaluations of targeted agents in lung cancer in the era of precision medicine. Articles evaluating biomarker-directed test-and-treat strategies are also reviewed to evaluate the cost impact of novel therapeutic agents at a population level. The Quality of Health Economic Studies instrument is applied to assess the quality of included studies. Forty-six studies are reviewed and encompass studies of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies, anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitors, vascular endothelial growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitors and immunotherapy (programmed death-1 inhibitors). Key factors influencing results of economic analyses include comparators chosen, perspective used, magnitude of clinical benefit, utility weighting of outcomes and drug acquisition costs. Biomarker-driven decision making should be integrated into cost evaluations given the important role of molecular testing for individualising treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer. We conclude that despite major clinical advances in lung cancer therapeutics, cost remains an important consideration in the adoption of novel therapies.