Economic Evaluation of Nivolumab as a Second-Line Treatment for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma From US and Chinese Perspectives

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nivolumab is a new standard of care for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and provides an overall survival benefit of 5.40 months in comparison with everolimus. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of nivolumab for the second-line treatment of mRCC from the perspective of US payers and identified the range of drug costs for which the addition of nivolumab to standard therapy could be considered cost-effective from a Chinese perspective.

METHODS:

A partitioned survival model was constructed to estimate lifetime costs, life-years, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Costs were estimated for the US and Chinese health care systems. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.

RESULTS:

Nivolumab provided an additional 0.29 QALYs at a cost of $151,676/QALY in the United States. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000/QALY, at the current cost of nivolumab, the chance of nivolumab being cost-effective was 3.10%. For China, when nivolumab cost less than $7.90 or $9.70/mg, there was a nearly 90% likelihood that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for nivolumab would be less than $22,785 or $48,838/QALY, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

For the United States, nivolumab is unlikely to be a high-value treatment for mRCC at the current price, and a price reduction appears to be justified. In China, value-based prices for nivolumab are $7.90 and $9.70/mg for the country and Beijing City, respectively. This study could and should inform the multilateral drug-price negotiations in China that may be upcoming for nivolumab.

In the United States, nivolumab is unlikely to be a high-value treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma at the current price, and a price reduction appears to be justified. When the drug is approved in China, value-based prices for the cost of nivolumab will be $7.90 and $9.70/mg for the country and Beijing City, respectively.

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