Total cost of testing for genomic alterations associated with next-generation sequencing versus polymerase chain reaction testing strategies among patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
Journal of Medical Economics, 2022
To assess the total cost of testing associated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) versus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing strategies among patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC) from a Medicare and US commercial payer's perspective.
Materials and methods
A decision tree model considered testing for genomic alterations in EGFR, ALK, ROS1, BRAF, KRAS, MET, HER2, RET, NTRK1 among patients with newly diagnosed mNSCLC using (1) liquid or tissue biopsy NGS tests, (2) exclusionary mutation (KRAS) test followed by sequential PCR tests, (3) sequential PCR tests, or (4) hotspot panel PCR tests. The alteration test sequence followed clinical guideline recommendations. Inputs based on literature, expert opinion, or assumptions included prevalence of mNSCLC, proportion of patients using each testing strategy (50% NGS [90% tissue, 10% liquid], 10% exclusionary, 10% sequential, 30% hotspot), proportion testing positive for each genomic mutation, rebiopsy rates, and costs for testing and associated medical care. Time to appropriate targeted therapy initiation and total costs were calculated for NGS, each PCR testing strategy, and all PCR strategies combined.
Among a hypothetical plan of 1,000,000 members (75% commercial, 25% Medicare), 1,119 patients were estimated to have mNSCLC and be eligible for testing. Estimated mean time to appropriate targeted therapy was 2 weeks for NGS and 6 weeks for PCR (sequential: 9 weeks, exclusionary: 8 weeks, hotspot: 3 weeks). Mean per patient costs were $4,932 for NGS and $6,605 for PCR (exclusionary: $5,563, sequential: $6,263, hotspot: $7,066). Per patient costs were higher from a commercial perspective (NGS: $6,225; PCR: $8,430) relative to Medicare (NGS: $2,099; PCR: $2,646); nevertheless, NGS was the least costly testing strategy across plan types.
NGS was associated with the fastest time to appropriate targeted therapy initiation and lowest total cost of testing compared to PCR testing strategies for newly diagnosed patients with mNSCLC.