Cost considerations could factor into the choice of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treatment. The present real-world observational study of 2352 mCRC patients in the United States found that the per-patient monthly health care costs for first-line (1L) or 1L through second-line therapy were substantially greater for patients treated with 1L cetuximab-containing versus bevacizumab-containing regimens. Such cost implications could be meaningful in real-world clinical practice.Background
The present study examined real-world direct health care costs for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients initiating first-line (1L) bevacizumab (BEV)- or cetuximab (CET)-containing regimen in 1L or 1L-through-second-line (1L-2L) therapy.Patients and Methods
Using a large US insurance claims database, patients with mCRC initiating 1L BEV- or 1L CET-containing regimen from January 1, 2008 to September 30, 2014 were identified. The per-patient per-month (PPPM) all-cause health care costs (2014 US dollars) were measured during 1L therapy and, for patients continuing to a 2L biologic-containing regimen, 1L-2L therapy. Multivariable regression analyses were used to compare PPPM total health care costs between patients initiating a 1L BEV- versus 1L CET-containing regimen.Results
A total of 6095 patients initiating a 1L BEV- and 453 initiating a 1L CET-containing regimen were evaluated for 1L costs; 2218 patients initiating a 1L BEV- and 134 initiating a 1L CET-containing regimen were evaluated for 1L-2L costs. In 1L therapy, 1L CET had adjusted PPPM costs that were $3135 (95% confidence interval [CI], $1174-$5040; P < .001) greater on average than 1L BEV. In 1L-2L therapy, 1L BEV-2L CET had adjusted PPPM costs that were $1402 (95% CI, $1365-$1442; P = .010) greater than those for 1L BEV-2L BEV, and 1L CET-2L BEV had adjusted PPPM costs that were $4279 (95% CI, $4167-$4400; P = .001) greater on average than those for 1L BEV-2L BEV. The adjusted PPPM cost differences for 1L BEV-2L other biologic or 1L CET-2L other biologic agent were numerically greater but statistically insignificant.Conclusion
PPPM total health care costs for 1L and 2L therapy tended to be greater for patients treated with 1L CET-containing regimens than for 1L BEV-containing regimens. Also, continuing treatment with BEV-containing regimens 1L-2L was less costly than switching between BEV and CET. The cost differences between BEV and CET hold important implications for treatment decisions of mCRC patients in real-world clinical practice.