Healthcare Resource Utilization and Associated Costs in Patients with Advanced Melanoma Receiving First-Line Ipilimumab


Background: To describe healthcare costs, excluding ipilimumab drug costs, in patients with advanced melanoma receiving ipilimumab in the US community practice setting. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of unresectable stage III/IV melanoma patients who received first-line ipilimumab monotherapy between 04/2011 and 09/2012. Healthcare resource utilization included inpatient, emergency, specialist and hospice visits, laboratory tests, radiation, surgeries, and nursing home stays. Publicly available US unit costs were applied to each resource type to estimate costs, which were analyzed by time periods: during ipilimumab treatment, post-ipilimumab treatment (post-regimen), and within 90 days prior to death (pre-death). Generalized linear mixed models were used to explore cost predictors during the treatment period, on a per-dose-interval basis, defined as the time between ipilimumab doses. Results: Data were abstracted from 273 patient charts at 34 sites. Excluding ipilimumab drug costs, total monthly costs during the treatment regimen, post-regimen, and pre-death periods were $690, $2151, and $5123, respectively. Total healthcare costs were 27 times higher during dose intervals with a grade 3/4 adverse event compared with intervals without a grade 3/4 adverse event. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥ 2 (vs 0) was also associated with significantly higher cost per dose interval. Conclusions: In this population, monthly costs exclusive of drug were significantly lower during the treatment period than in subsequent periods. Unfavorable ECOG PS was associated with significant increases in cost per dose interval. Grade 3/4 adverse events were associated with a marked increase in healthcare costs, but occurred in a small proportion of dose intervals.

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Tarhini, A. , Corman, S. , Rao, S. , Margolin, K. , Ji, X. , Mehta, S. and Botteman, M. (2015) Healthcare Resource Utilization and Associated Costs in Patients with Advanced Melanoma Receiving First-Line Ipilimumab. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 6, 833-840. doi: 10.4236/jct.2015.610091.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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