The rate of occurrence, healthcare resource use and costs of adverse events among metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with first- and second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors

Lung Cancer, 2019


Clinical trials with first- and second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) reported severe adverse events (SAEs) in 6%-49% of patients with EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer. This study describes incremental healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and costs associated with real-world management of AEs in this population, with a focus on SAEs.

Materials and methods

Patients receiving erlotinib, gefitinib, or afatinib as first-line (1L) monotherapy were identified from IQVIA™ Real-World Data Adjudicated Claims-US database (04/01/2012-03/31/2017). Relevant AEs were selected from corresponding prescribing information; SAEs were identified from hospitalization claims. HRU and cost per-patient-per-month (PPPM) were assessed during 1L treatment and compared for patients with and without each AE using multivariate Poisson and linear regression, respectively, adjusting for baseline characteristics.


Of 1646 patients, 86.9% were treated with erlotinib, 12.1% with afatinib, and 1.0% with gefitinib. In 1L, 12.2% of patients had ≥1 acute SAE (220.1/1000 patient-years). Patients with any SAE had higher PPPM costs than patients without SAEs (cost difference = $4700, p < 0.001). Incremental costs ranged from $2604 PPPM for diarrhea to $10,143 PPPM for microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (MAHA), and were statistically significant for all SAEs (all p < 0.001) except MAHA (p < 0.0528). Patients with any SAEs had higher rates of HRU relative to patients without SAEs (hospitalization rate ratio = 6.15; outpatient visits rate ratio = 1.21; all p < 0.001).


More than one-tenth of patients experienced SAEs, resulting in sizeable economic burden with respect to HRU and costs. EGFR-TKIs with more favorable safety profiles may reduce the burden of managing this population.

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Subramanian J, Fernandes AW, Laliberté F, Pavilack M, DerSarkissian M, Duh MS