Clinical research
Cost-effectiveness analysis review of exemestane in the treatment of primary and advanced breast cancer
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Submission date: 2013-01-27
Final revision date: 2013-03-01
Acceptance date: 2013-04-06
Online publication date: 2013-05-27
Publication date: 2013-06-01
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(3):472–478
Introduction: Exemestane was approved in 2005 for adjuvant treatment of breast cancer. In this study, we aimed to assess whether it is cost-effective in comparison to available alternatives.
Material and methods: To evaluate the efficacy of exemestane, a systematic review was conducted by searching electronic databases. The outcomes of interest were “clinical benefit”, “overall response” and “disease-free survival rate”. To evaluate the cost of treatments, costs of both domestic generic and imported brand medicines were taken into account, and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated for each comparison.
Results: Regarding primary breast cancer, based upon available evidence, exemestane could not be considered as a cost-effective medicine either in generic or brand form compared with placebo (ICER: 119,100 and 215,525), with tamoxifen after 2-3 years of therapy (ICER: 35,150 and 82,400) and with sequential treatment by tamoxifen and exemestane (dominated because of lower effectiveness and higher cost). In metastatic breast cancer, exemestane was not considered a cost-effective treatment compared with both anastrozole and megestrol acetate (dominated) and was highly cost-effective compared with tamoxifen (ICERs: 2,208 and 4,326 dollars per one more patient with an overall response for generic and brand medicines) although even in this case it was not cost-effective in terms of the 1-year survival rates (dominated).
Conclusions: Regarding current evidence and related costs in terms of Iranian pharmaceutical market prices, exemestane could not be considered a cost-effective treatment in primary and advanced breast cancer compared with available alternatives. However, more evidence is still needed for more certain decisions.