Pamidronate for the prevention of skeletal-related events in multiple myeloma. What does the public think it is worth?
Author(s): Dranitsaris G
Affiliation(s): Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital.
Publication date & source: 1999-01, Int J Technol Assess Health Care., 15(1):108-22.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial
Multiple myeloma is a disorder of the bone marrow that is associated with bone pain and osteolytic lesions. These complications can lead to the development of pathologic fractures and severe patient morbidity. However, the results of a recent randomized trial in patients with multiple myeloma demonstrated that single 90 mg monthly doses of pamidronate as an adjunct to chemotherapy reduced the incidence of skeletal-related events and improved patients' quality of life. A cost-benefit analysis using an ex-ante insurance willingness-to-pay (WTP) approach was conducted from a Canadian societal perspective to estimate the net cost or benefit of prophylactic pamidronate therapy for patients with multiple myeloma. This included direct costs for drug administration and hospital savings secondary to avoiding skeletal-related events. One hundred Canadian taxpayers were then interviewed to ascertain their maximum WTP for the benefits of pamidronate. The WTP survey instrument was simple to administer and easily understood by participants. Respondents stated that they would be willing to pay an average of Can $3,364 (95% CI: $2,096, $4,632) as an income tax increase to be paid over their lifetime for the value offered by the product. The benefit was then subtracted from the overall cost of nine monthly doses of pamidronate ($4,153) producing a net societal cost of $789 per patient (95% CI: (-$479, $2,057). The administration of monthly pamidronate therapy in multiple myeloma patients produces a situation of cost neutrality (societal benefits = costs). Additional clinical trials to identify high-risk patient subgroups that would most benefit from the drug are needed.