To assess, from a United States (US) perspective, the cost-effectiveness of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) prophylaxis using a single dose of netupitant and palonosetron in a fixed combination (NEPA) versus aprepitant plus granisetron (APR + GRAN), each in combination with dexamethasone, in chemotherapy-naïve patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC).
We analyzed patient-level outcomes over a 5-day post-HEC period from a randomized, double-blind, phase 3 clinical trial of NEPA (n = 412) versus APR + GRAN (n = 416). Costs and CINV-related utilities were assigned to each subject using published sources. Parameter uncertainty was addressed via multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSA).
Compared to APR + GRAN, NEPA resulted in a gain of 0.09 quality-adjusted life-days (QALDs) (4.04 vs 3.95; 95% CI -0.06 to 0.25) and a significant total per-patient cost reduction of $309 ($943 vs $1252; 95% CI $4-$626), due principally to $258 in lower medical costs of CINV-related events ($409 vs $668; 95% CI -$46 to $572) and $45 in lower study drug costs ($531 vs $577). In the PSA, NEPA resulted in lower costs and higher QALD in 86.5% of cases and cost ≤ $25,000 per quality-adjusted life-year gained in 97.8% of cases.
This first-ever economic analysis using patient-level data from a phase 3 trial comparing neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist (NK1 RA) antiemetic regimens suggests that NEPA is highly cost-effective (and in fact cost-saving) versus an aprepitant-based regimen in post-HEC CINV prevention. Actual savings may be higher, as we focused only on the first chemotherapy cycle and omitted the impact of CINV-related chemotherapy discontinuation.