Background and aims: Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers worldwide. Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 85% of all lung cancers and has an extremely poor prognosis. Afatinib is an irreversible ErbB family blocker designed to suppress cellular signaling and inhibit cellular growth and is approved in Europe after platinum-based therapy for squamous NSCLC. The objective of the present analysis was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of afatinib after platinum-based therapy for squamous NSCLC in France.
Methods: The study population was based on the LUX-Lung 8 trial that compared afatinib with erlotinib in patients with squamous NSCLC. The analysis was performed from the perspective of all health care funders and affected patients. A partitioned survival model was developed to evaluate cost-effectiveness based on progression-free survival and overall survival in the trial. Life expectancy, quality-adjusted life expectancy and direct costs were evaluated over a 10-year time horizon. Future costs and clinical benefits were discounted at 4% annually. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.
Results: Model projections indicated that afatinib was associated with greater life expectancy (0.16 years) and quality-adjusted life expectancy (0.094 quality-adjusted life years [QALYs]) than that projected for erlotinib. The total cost of treatment over a 10-year time horizon was higher for afatinib than erlotinib, EUR12,364 versus EUR9,510, leading to an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of EUR30,277 per QALY gained for afatinib versus erlotinib. Sensitivity analyses showed that the base case findings were stable under variation of a range of model inputs.
Conclusion: Based on data from the LUX-Lung 8 trial, afatinib was projected to improve clinical outcomes versus erlotinib, with a 97% probability of being cost-effective assuming a willingness to pay of EUR70,000 per QALY gained, after platinum-based therapy in patients with squamous NSCLC in France.