Comparison of healthcare resource utilization and costs of patients with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer treated with ribociclib versus other CDK4/6 inhibitors

Journal of Medical Economics, 2021


To assess healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and healthcare costs among women with hormone receptor-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced breast cancer (HR+/HER2- aBC) treated with cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibitors.


Women with HR+/HER2- aBC, initiating CDK4/6 inhibitor treatment were identified using IBM MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental databases (Q1/2000-Q3/2018). Based on the first CDK4/6 inhibitor patients received (index therapy), three cohorts were identified: abemaciclib, palbociclib, and ribociclib. The baseline period (six months preceding treatment initiation) was used to describe patient characteristics. All-cause HRU and direct total healthcare costs (medical and pharmacy) from treatment initiation until the earliest of the end of index therapy, continuous health plan enrollment, or data availability, were compared for the ribociclib cohort versus the abemaciclib and palbociclib cohorts, separately, using weighted regression analyses balanced on baseline covariates.


Average age at treatment initiation was ∼60 years and the majority of patients were postmenopausal (abemaciclib: 92%; palbociclib: 92%; ribociclib: 79%). Average follow-up duration was 3.9, 8.8, and 5.9 months for the abemaciclib, palbociclib, and ribociclib cohorts, respectively. After reweighting, HRU was not statistically different between the ribociclib and abemaciclib cohorts, however, the ribociclib cohort incurred significantly lower total healthcare costs (-$5,452; 95% CI: -$8,726; -$1,139, p = .01). Medical costs (driven by outpatient costs) and pharmacy costs (driven by CDK4/6 inhibitor costs) were significantly lower for the ribociclib cohort. Among the reweighted ribociclib and palbociclib cohorts, HRU and total healthcare costs were not statistically different, although the ribociclib cohort had lower outpatient costs per-patient-per-month (-$1,245, 95% CI: -$2,349; -$37, p = .04).


Due to the retrospective, observational design, treatment cohorts were not randomly assigned.


During CDK4/6 inhibitor therapy, ribociclib patients tended to incur lower medical and pharmacy costs than abemaciclib patients. Among ribociclib and palbociclib patients, HRU and healthcare costs were similar.

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Burne R, Balu S, Guérin A, Bungay R, Sin R, Paul ML