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The Cost-Effectiveness of Herceptin® in a Standard Cost Model for Breast-Cancer Treatment in a Belgian University Hospital

M. Neyt (), Johan Albrecht, Bart Clarysse and V. Cocquyt
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V. Cocquyt: -

Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium from Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Abstract: Objective: The objective of this study was to set up a standard cost model for breast-cancer treatment to be able to complete a cost-effectiveness analysis of Herceptin®. This is a new biotechnological pharmaceutical developed by Genentech. Herceptin® is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the HER2 receptor, an important anticancer target. Method A cost model with standard diagnostic and treatment options for breast cancer was set up for a Belgian university hospital to calculate monthly standard treatment costs from this hospital’s point of view. With the exception of the hospital-stay price, all costs were measured in a direct way. Effectiveness was estimated through literature study. With an incremental costeffectiveness analysis, differences in costs and effectiveness with and without Herceptin® were compared. Results When looking at the period starting from diagnosis and ending in the metastatic phase, monthly costs for the hospital rose from € 113.06 to € 121.32 when adding Herceptin® to the model. When looking at the metastatic phase, these costs rose from € 1,132.33 to € 1,256.23. When observing the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, an extra cost of € 3,981.44 per extra life-month was found. This cost was rather high because Herceptin® was quite expensive and the product was additive in its current use and did not completely or partially replace existing treatments. Cost consequences were even more pronounced when this exercise was done for a hypothetical situation, in which Herceptin® was included in the metastatic phase of the treatment model as a single agent and in combination with Taxotere®.

Keywords: Herceptin®; breast cancer; cost model; cost-effectiveness; monthly costs; incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28 pages
Date: 2003-06
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