Cost Offsets in the Treatment Journeys of Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Clinical Therapeutics, 2019


Multiple new regimens are available for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). In this context, it is increasingly important to understand the differential costs of regimens used to treat RRMM.


A treatment journey for RRMM during a 12-month period of therapy was developed to reflect real-world clinical practice based on current treatment guidelines and input from hematologists/oncologists. The journey incorporated prescreening visits, laboratory tests, regimen-specific premedication, treatment-related costs, medical costs, and indirect costs. A cost model was constructed from the standard RRMM treatment pathway to compare overall, direct, and indirect costs across therapies over a 12-month period from initiation of second-line therapy and to determine cost offsets (incremental costs) associated with use of ixazomib-based therapy versus comparator regimens. According to the clinical input, the standard pathway was modified for patients with high unmet need to determine specific cost offsets in these subgroups.


Total costs ranged from $93,683 for bortezomib-cyclophosphamide-dexamethasone to $315,296 for daratumumab-bortezomib-dexamethasone. Drug cost comprised the highest proportion (83%-98%) of total costs of second-line therapy across regimens, which were generally highest for regimens based on recently approved agents. Indirect costs were higher for regimens that required more frequent or longer durations of drug administration, and lower for all-oral regimens. Costs were reduced among frail patients because of the use of adjusted dosing, whereas indirect costs were increased for regimens that required a greater number of clinic visits among patients with barriers to physician access.


Cost model analyses highlight the differential direct and indirect costs associated with multiple regimens for the treatment of RRMM, including many recent new regimens. The results indicate the lower treatment burden and indirect costs associated with administering all-oral regimens compared with regimens that require frequent and/or lengthy subcutaneous or intravenous infusions. Understanding comparative costs associated with the treatment journeys of different patients with RRMM may help inform payer and patient therapeutic choices.

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Ailawadhi S, DerSarkissian M, Duh MS, Lafeuille MH, Posner G, Ralston S, Zagadailov E, Ba-Mancini A, Rifkin R