Treatment-Related Healthcare Costs of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer in Germany: A Claims Data Study

from PharmacoEconomics – Open at on May 30, 2020 at 08:46PM



Treatments for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) have expanded rapidly. They include the chemotherapies docetaxel and cabazitaxel, hormonal drugs abiraterone and enzalutamide, and best supportive care (BSC). Cabazitaxel has proven to be the last life-prolonging option, associated with a significant risk of serious adverse events. Given the lack of real-world evidence, we aimed to compare healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and costs in patients with mCRPC treated with cabazitaxel, docetaxel, abiraterone, enzalutamide, and BSC.


We used 2014–2017 claims data from a large German statutory health insurance fund, the Techniker Krankenkasse, to identify patients with mCRPC. Patient allocation to individual therapy regimens was based on clinical knowledge and included therapy cycles, duration of therapy, and continuous treatment. The study period lasted from the first claim until death, the end of data availability, a drug switch, or discontinuation of therapy, whichever came first. Multivariate regression models were used to compare monthly all-cause and mCRPC-related HRU and costs across cohorts by adjusting for baseline covariates (including age and comorbidities).


The 3944 identified patients with mCRPC initiated treatment with cabazitaxel (n = 240), docetaxel (n = 539), abiraterone (n = 486), enzalutamide (n = 351), or BSC (n = 2328). In most domains, HRU was highest in the cabazitaxel cohort and lowest in the BSC group. Accordingly, the highest all-cause and mCRPC-related costs per month, respectively, were observed in patients receiving cabazitaxel (€7631/€6343), followed by abiraterone (€5226/€4579), enzalutamide (€5079/€4416), docetaxel (€2392/€1580), and BSC (€959/€438). Cost variations were mostly attributable to drugs, inpatient treatment, and sick leave payments.


mCRPC treatment imposes a high economic burden on statutory health insurance. Cabazitaxel is associated with substantially higher expenses, resulting from higher drug costs and a greater need for inpatient treatment. As mCRPC continues to be incurable, decision makers and clinician leaders should carefully evaluate public access to innovative agents and optimal treatment strategies.