Anemia frequently develops during cancer chemotherapy and contributes to a variety of adverse clinical outcomes. Correction of anemia has been shown to improve patient outcomes; however, the cost considerations of supportive-care interventions have also become increasingly important to payors. Chemotherapy-related anemia can be managed via red blood cell transfusion; however, inherent transfusion-associated risks (e.g., infectious transmission and immunosuppression) can be particularly problematic in patients with cancer. Epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa, alternatives to blood transfusion in patients with chemotherapy-related anemia, are both effective at improving hemoglobin levels and transfusion requirements in patients actively receiving chemotherapy. Determining the relative cost-effectiveness of these erythropoietic therapies is an active research area.
Cost-effectiveness of epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa in patients with chemotherapy-related anemia