Cost-effectiveness and budget impact of lung cancer immunotherapy in South America: Strategies to improve access

Pedro Aguiar, Auro Del Giglio, Luke Alastair Perry, Jahan Penny-Dimri, Hani Babiker, Hakaru Tadokoro, Gilberto Lopes, Ramon Andrade De Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Aim: Immune checkpoint inhibitors revolutionized the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, although their costs are a limitation. Methods: The number of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer eligible for immunotherapy was estimated using local epidemiology data. We extracted survival data from RCTs to estimate the life-years saved in a 5-year time horizon. All costs were in local prices converted to US dollars. Results: In the first-line, the budget impact of pembrolizumab decreased by 35% through risk-sharing. In the second-line, patient selection by programmed-death receptor ligand 1 expression decreased the budgetary impact by 45%, and improved cost-effectiveness. Immunotherapy was more cost-effective in the first-line. Conclusion: Given current pricing, Immune checkpoint inhibitors are cost-prohibitive in the majority of South American health services. Nevertheless, several strategies should improve access to immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-897
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • global oncology
  • health policy
  • immunotherapy
  • pharmacoeconomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


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