Health care costs among renal cancer patients using pazopanib and sunitinib
BACKGROUND: Pazopanib was noninferior to sunitinib in progression-free survival in a phase III, open-label, randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of the 2 drugs for treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). A secondary analysis of this trial conducted on patient-reported health care resource utilization (HCRU) endpoints revealed significantly fewer monthly telephone consultations and emergency department visits among patients treated with pazopanib over the first 6 months of treatment.
OBJECTIVES:To (a) compare total costs of HCRU and adverse events (AEs) in patients with advanced RCC receiving first-line pazopanib or sunitinib from the phase III clinical trial and (b) perform a post hoc economic analysis that applied direct medical care and pharmacy unit costs, obtained from the Truven Health MarketScan Databases, to HCRU and
METHODS: Total HCRU costs included components for provider contacts, diagnostics, hospitalizations, procedures, and study/nonstudy drugs. Patients were stratified by the presence or absence of an AE in order to estimate costs attributable to AEs. Costs were adjusted to 2013 U.S. dollars. The highest 1% of cost outliers were equally excluded from each group. Univariate (t-test and Kaplan-Meier sample average [KMSA]) and multivariate (using treatment group and region as covariates) analyses were performed.
RESULTS: A total of 906 patients (pazopanib, n?=?454; sunitinib, n?=?452) reported HCRU; higher rates were observed for sunitinib. In unadjusted cost analyses, the mean total costs for pazopanib-treated patients were 8.0% lower than those treated with sunitinib ($80,464 vs. $86,886; P?=?0.20). The difference in KMSA-estimated costs was significantly higher for sunitinib versus pazopanib ($156,128 vs. $143,585; P?=?0.003). Adjusted cost differences between arms consistently suggested higher costs for sunitinib. Among patients who experienced ??1 AE, costs were $8,118 higher for pazopanib-treated patients and $14,343 for sunitinib-treated patients.