Although recent studies demonstrated that fulvestrant is superior to anastrozole as first-line treatment for hormone receptor (HR)-positive advanced breast cancer, the cost-effectiveness of fulvestrant versus anastrozole remained uncertain. Thus, the current study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of fulvestrant compared with anastrozole in the first-line setting. A Markov model consisting of three health states (stable, progressive and dead) was constructed to simulate a hypothetical cohort of patients with HR-positive advanced breast cancer. Costs were calculated from a Chinese societal perspective. Health outcomes were measured in quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was expressed as incremental cost per QALY gained. Model results suggested that fulvestrant provides an additional effectiveness gain of 0.11 QALYs at an incremental cost of $32,654 compared with anastrozole, resulting in an ICER of $296,855/QALY exceeding the willingness-to-pay threshold of $23,700/QALY. Hence, fulvestrant is not a cost-effective strategy compared with anastrozole as first-line treatment for HR-positive advanced breast cancer.