Background: Anti-PD-1 immunotherapy has dramatically shifted therapeutic perspectives for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We assessed cost-effectiveness of anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab compared to platinum-doublet chemotherapy as first-line therapy for advanced NSCLC. Methods: We retrieved survival, progression, and safety data comparing first-line pembrolizumab to platinum-doublets for advanced NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50%, non-mutated EGFR, and non-translocated ALK, from KEYNOTE-024. Published United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) costs informed incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). Our analysis was based on a Bayesian Markov model of disease with full lifetime horizon. We estimated costs in USD and summarized effectiveness as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Results: Patients treated with pembrolizumab accumulated 1.80 QALYs (95% CrI 1.56–1.89), for moderate dependency between outcomes, compared to 1.06 QALYs (0.94–1.13) with chemotherapy. From a British National Health System (NHS) perspective, the ICER was $52k ($43k–$69k) per end-of-life (EoL) adjusted QALY gained, above the 42k USD threshold, while from a US cost perspective, the ICER was $49k ($40k-67k) per EoL adjusted QALY, below the hypothetical 100k USD threshold. Conclusions: Evidence suggests first-line pembrolizumab for NSCLC may be cost-effective in the US but not the UK, in spite of very similar ICER values in both countries.
- Bayesian Markov model
- First-line therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research