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Cancer Manag Res. 2013 Aug 8;5:215-24. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S44539. eCollection 2013.

Cost-effectiveness of an aprepitant regimen for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients with breast cancer in the UK.

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Market Access Department, Merck Sharp and Dohme Ltd, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, UK.



Prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remains an important goal for patients receiving chemotherapy. The objective of this study was to define, from the UK payer perspective, the cost-effectiveness of an antiemetic regimen using aprepitant, a selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist, for patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer.


A decision-analytic model was developed to compare an aprepitant regimen (aprepitant, ondansetron, and dexamethasone) with a standard UK antiemetic regimen (ondansetron, dexamethasone, and metoclopramide) for expected costs and health outcomes after single-day adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. The model was populated with results from patients with breast cancer participating in a randomized trial of CINV preventative therapy for cycle 1 of single-day chemotherapy.


During 5 days after chemotherapy, 64% of patients receiving the aprepitant regimen and 47% of those receiving the UK comparator regimen had a complete response to antiemetic therapy (no emesis and no rescue antiemetic therapy). A mean of £37.11 (78%) of the cost of aprepitant was offset by reduced health care resource utilization costs. The predicted gain in quality-adjusted lifeyears (QALYs) with the aprepitant regimen was 0.0048. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) with aprepitant, relative to the UK comparator, was £10,847/QALY, which is well below the threshold commonly accepted in the UK of £20,000-£30,000/QALY.


The results of this study suggest that aprepitant is cost-effective for preventing CINV associated with chemotherapy for patients with breast cancer in the UK health care setting.


CINV; antiemetic therapy; emesis

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