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Increased Cost of CLL Tx Poses Considerable Financial Burden

Number of patients living with CLL projected to increase 55% by 2025; costs set to rise 590%

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), survival is projected to increase by 2025, and the corresponding cost of care will increase considerably, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Qiushi Chen, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and colleagues developed a simulation model that assessed the evolving management of CLL from 2011 to 2025: with chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) as standard of care before 2014, and use of oral targeted therapy for specific patients from 2014 and for first-line therapy from 2016. A comparator scenario was simulated with CIT as standard of care throughout the study period.

The researchers note that due to improved survival the number of patients living with CLL in the United States is projected to increase 55 percent, from 128,000 in 2011 to 199,000 by 2025. The annual cost of CLL management is expected to increase 590 percent, from $0.74 billion to $5.13 billion. A 310 percent increase is anticipated in per-patient lifetime cost of CLL treatment, from $147,000 to $604,000, as oral targeted therapies become first-line treatment. The corresponding total out-of-pocket costs for patients enrolled in Medicare will increase from $9,200 to $57,000 (520 percent). Oral targeted therapies resulted in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $189,000 per quality-adjusted life-year compared with the CIT scenario.

“More sustainable pricing strategies for targeted therapies are needed to avoid financial toxicity to patients,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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