BACKGROUND: Multiple myeloma is an incurable B-cell malignancy with a natural history that involves alternating periods of remission and subsequent relapse. For relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM), the typical patient currently receives more lines of therapy than has been feasible in the past, translating into longer progression-free survival (PFS). Consequently, cost issues have become more prominent because patients may be offered newer and more expensive therapies during a more prolonged overall treatment course.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the economic impact of adding panobinostat to a U.S. health plan formulary as a treatment option with bortezomib and dexamethasone for patients with RRMM previously treated with a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and immunomodulatory drug (IMiD), using a budget impact and cost-benefit model.
METHODS: Total costs of commonly used salvage therapy regimens were combined with market share data and population prevalence estimates of RRMM to yield the total cost of treatment, from the perspective of a U.S. third-party payer (commercial or Medicare) with a time horizon of 1 year. Comparator treatment regimens included bortezomib-dexamethasone, lenalidomide-dexamethasone, lenalidomide-bortezomib-dexamethasone, carfilzomib monotherapy, carfilzomib-lenalidomide-dexamethasone, and pomalidomide-dexamethasone. Costs (2015 U.S. dollars) included drug costs for oral oncology agents, medical and administration costs for injectable oncology agents, costs of adverse event (AE) prophylaxis and monitoring, and costs of grade 3/4 AEs.
RESULTS: In a hypothetical health plan with 1 million members, the annual number of RRMM patients with previous PI and IMiD treatments was estimated at 16 and 118 for a commercial and Medicare plan, respectively. Introduction of panobinostat as part of the panobinostat-bortezomib-dexamethasone regimen was not expected to result in a substantial budget impact to either commercial or Medicare plans, with an incremental cost < $0.01 per member per month. Panobinostat-bortezomib-dexamethasone had a low cost per treated patient per month without progression, owing to the minimal increase in expenditure over existing bortezomib-based regimens and long median PFS, compared with median duration of treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Adding panobinostat to a plan formulary as a treatment option is expected to be cost neutral (and potentially cost saving in the context of new and more expensive treatment regimens). With a low cost per month without progression, panobinostat-bortezomib-dexamethasone represents good value for the money.