The impact of lenograstim, recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, on healthcare costs was evaluated on the basis of the results of a clinical trial of the drug in patients receiving VICE (vincristine, ifosfamide, carboplatin and etoposide) chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer (SCLC). The use of lenograstim resulted in a significant (p < 0.03) increase in the cumulative chemotherapy dose intensity (125% with lenograstim vs 118% without).
Lenograstim was found to have no significant impact on the use of healthcare resources for administration of chemotherapy, chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, and associated infections. The cost of healthcare for the lenograstim group (excluding lenograstim acquisition costs) was £700 higher per patient than that for the group not treated with lenograstim (95% CI - £930 to £2300).
The use of lenograstim to intensify the chemotherapy dose is likely to increase the costs of treatment for SCLC. However, any increased costs need to be balanced against the potential cost savings associated with the possible long term benefits resulting from chemotherapy dose intensification.