Bendamustine-rituximab: a cost-utility analysis in first-line treatment of indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in England and Wales

Authors: Dewilde S, Woods B, Castaigne JG, Parker C, Dunlop W
Published in: Journal of Medical Economics. 2014 Feb;17(2):111-24


Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of bendamustine-rituximab (B-R) compared with CHOP-R (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone, rituximab) and CVP-R (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, rituximab) as first-line treatment for patients with advanced indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

Methods: A patient-level simulation was adapted from the model used by the University of Sheffield School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) in a health technology appraisal of rituximab for first-line treatment of follicular lymphoma. This approach allowed modelling of the complex treatment pathways in indolent NHL. Data from a Phase 3 randomized, open-label trial were used to compare B-R with CHOP-R. The relative efficacy of CHOP-R and CVP-R was estimated using an indirect treatment comparison similar to the original ScHARR approach. The analysis was conducted from the perspective of the National Health Service in England and Wales, using a lifetime time horizon. A number of one-way sensitivity and scenario analyses were conducted, including one using recently published data comparing CVP-R with CHOP-R.

Results: The deterministic incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was £5249 per quality adjusted life year (QALY) for B-R vs CHOP-R, and £8092 per QALY for B-R vs CVP-R. The alternative scenario using direct data comparing CVP-R with CHOP-R approximately halved the ICER for B-R vs CVP-R to £4733. Owing to its better toxicity profile, B-R reduced the cost of treating adverse events by over £1000 per patient vs CHOP-R.

Limitations: The main limitations were: immaturity of overall survival data from the Phase 3 trial; reliance on quality-of-life data from previous health technology appraisals (as this was not collected in the trial); and a lack of direct evidence or a network of connected evidence comparing B-R with CVP-R.

Conclusions: The ICERs for B-R vs CHOP-R and CVP-R were considerably below the thresholds normally regarded as cost-effective in England and Wales (£20,000-30,000 per QALY).

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