Cost-effectiveness of Imatinib in Treating Advanced GIST

By Stanton R. Mehr
Published: Monday, May 24, 2010
Click here to view as PDF.

Although imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is the standard of care for patients with metastatic or unresectable gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), few studies have examined its cost-effectiveness in treating this disorder. Canadian and American economists examined the cost-effectiveness of imatinib as treatment for advanced GIST from a Canadian third-party payer perspective. They recently presented their findings at the ESMO annual meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.

Results of a 52-month phase III trial served as the source of survival and cost information for this evaluation. Researchers found that acquisition costs for imatinib, costs for GIST-related medical services, and costs for palliative care for patients with end-stage GIST accounted for the bulk of medical expenditures.

The study estimated quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and expenditures over a 10-year period, discounting all costs and QALYs by 5% annually. Based on a mean life expectancy gain of 2.7 years for patients treated with imatinib, they calculated the cost-effectiveness of imatinib at $45,284 per QALY. Based on the commonly accepted threshold for cost-effectiveness of $50,000 per QALY, the authors concluded that imatinib is a cost-effective treatment for patients with metastatic or unresectable GIST. They reported that a sensitivity analysis did not materially change these findings.

El-Ouagari K, Huse DM. Cost-effectiveness of imatinib in the treatment of advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST): Canadian perspective. Paper Presented at: the annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology; September 2008; Stockholm, Sweden.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 18th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress®Oct 31, 20181.5
Provider and Caregiver Connection™: Addressing Patient Concerns While Managing Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and VomitingOct 31, 20182.0
Publication Bottom Border
Border Publication