Cost-Effectiveness of White Blood Cell Growth Factor Use among a Large Nationwide Cohort of Elderly Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Patients Treated with Chemotherapy

Division of Epidemiology and Disease Control, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Value in Health (Impact Factor: 3.28). 03/2011; 14(2):253-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jval.2010.09.010
Source: PubMed


To determine the cost-effectiveness (as measured as cost per life-year saved) of white blood cell growth factor or colony-stimulating factor (CSF) use among a large cohort of elderly non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients in a real-world setting.
We identified 13,203 NHL patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database who received the diagnosis from 1992 to 2002 and who received chemotherapy within 12 months of diagnosis. Benefit (effectiveness) of CSF use (primary and secondary prophylaxis) was measured as observed improvement in overall survival. Costs for each patient were calculated by adding the cumulative reimbursement amounts from Medicare claims. Cost-effectiveness was estimated by modeling the joint influence of CSF use on both costs and effectiveness using a propensity-score net monetary benefit approach.
Primary prophylactic CSF use was cost-effective at lower willingness-to-pay thresholds, whereas at higher thresholds, not providing prophylactic CSF became the cost-effective strategy. For secondary prophylactic CSF use among patients experiencing neutropenia, fever, and/or infection, the opposite trend was observed. For low willingness-to-pay thresholds (<$20,000 per life-year gained), not administering CSF was the cost-effective strategy, whereas CSF use became cost-effective as willingness to pay increased (from $100,000+ per life-year gained).
To our knowledge, this is the first large population-based study to empirically measure the cost-effectiveness of CSF among NHL patients treated with chemotherapy. CSF use as primary or secondary prophylaxis may be a cost-effective strategy depending on society's (or payers') willingness to pay for improvements in outcomes.

Download full-text


Available from: Jan Risser
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For oncology patients, febrile neutropenia (FN) can be a serious and costly toxicity of chemotherapy, often forcing a reduction in chemotherapy dose intensity and/or duration. Several therapeutic agents are used to reduce the occurrence of neutropenic episodes: granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSFs) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors. Appropriate administration of colony-stimulating factors reduces the risk of FN episodes and the costs associated with FN treatment. In the USA, the two most commonly used G-CSFs are filgrastim and the longer-acting pegfilgrastim. This pharmacoeconomic review of pegfilgrastim briefly considers some of the early research of G-CSFs, then focuses on the most recent comparative studies of pegfilgrastim against the backdrop of forthcoming US patent expiration for both products. The authors conclude with commentary on the market for pegfilgrastim in light of the growing debate surrounding the optimal selection of patients, treatment costs and future alternatives for the use of these agents in chemotherapy.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clinical pathways are viewed as valuable practice tools leading to presumed cost savings. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield partnering with P4 Pathways implemented a multistate oncology clinical pathways program in 2008. This is the first comprehensive evaluation to our knowledge of a pathways program implemented on a broad scale. This study used a retrospective single-group, pretest-post-test design. Data representing preclinical pathways (year -1) and 2 years after program initiation (years +1 and +2) were obtained from claims data. Participating sites with ≥ one claim for breast, lung, or colorectal cancer treatment from each year were included in the evaluation. Compliance was defined as site attainment of prespecified annual thresholds for the use of chemotherapy and supportive care. Savings were determined by comparing per-patient changes in drug and hospital costs through year +2 with the projected annual expenditure increases of 12% and 7%, respectively. Forty-six sites representing 4,713 patients met inclusion criteria. The unadjusted site compliance rate for chemotherapy was 83% and 54% for years +1 and +2, respectively; supportive care site compliance was 74% for both years. Per-patient drug costs increased from $16,494 in year -1 to $16,906 in year +2 (P = .587), whereas hospitalization costs decreased from $2,502 to $1,064 (P = .004). Compared with projected cost increases, pathways resulted in $10.3 million in savings by participant sites ($7.0 million from drugs and $3.3 million from hospitalizations) or $30.9 million when extrapolated to the entire health plan. Broadly implemented clinical pathways can achieve reasonable physician compliance, resulting in substantial cost savings.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Oncology Practice
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Febrile neutropenia (FN) is a common and serious complication of myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Guidelines recommend primary granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF) prophylaxis (PPG) in patients with a high risk (HR, >20 %) of developing FN. We performed a retrospective analysis using a subset of the Medicare 5 % database to assess patterns of G-CSF use and FN occurrence among elderly cancer patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Chemotherapy courses for patients aged 65+ years were identified; only the first course was used for this analysis. Using clinical guidelines, chemotherapy regimens were classified as HR or intermediate risk (IR) for FN. The first administration of G-CSF was classified as either PPG (within the first 5 days of the first cycle), secondary prophylaxis, or reactive. Twelve thousand seven hundred seven courses across five tumor types were classified as having a HR or IR regimen. G-CSF was used in 24.5-73.8 % of patients receiving a HR FN regimen, with the highest use in breast cancer or NHL. Except for breast cancer (where PPG was used in 52.1 %), PPG was given in less than half of patients receiving a HR regimen. Depending on the tumor type, 4.8-22.6 % of patients with a HR regimen had a neutropenia-related hospitalization. Guidelines recommend PPG with HR FN regimens and older age (>65 years), an important risk factor for developing severe neutropenic complications. However, our results show that in this elderly population, PPG was not routinely used (range 4.8-52.1 %) in patients receiving HR FN regimens. Careful attention to FN risk factors, including chemotherapy regimen and patient age, is needed when planning treatment strategies.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Supportive Care in Cancer