Background and objective: In the recent X-ACT (Xeloda in Adjuvant Colon cancer Therapy) trial, oral capecitabine (Xeloda®) demonstrated superior efficacy and an improved safety profile compared with infused fluorouracil + leucovorin (folinic acid) [FU+LV] in patients with Dukes' C colorectal cancer. We used the X-ACT results to determine the cost effectiveness of capecitabine compared with FU+LV from the perspective of the Italian National Health Service (NHS). Methods: Medical resource use data were collected throughout the treatment period. Unit costs for drug administration, hospitalization, emergency room visits and concomitant medications were obtained using Italian published sources. A health-state transition model was used to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per quality-adjusted life-month (QALM) gains in the intent-to-treat population (1004 and 983 patients in the capecitabine and FU+LV arms, respectively). Costs and effectiveness were discounted at 3.5%. Costs were calculated in €s (2005 values). Results: Administration of capecitabine required fewer clinic visits per patient than FU+LV (7.35 vs 28.0, respectively). Mean acquisition costs per patient for capecitabine were higher than for FU+LV (€2533 vs €231, respectively), but this difference was offset by the difference in mean chemotherapy administration costs per patient for FU+LV (€4338, compared with €152 for capecitabine). Mean total hospital days and medication costs for treatment-related adverse events were higher for FU+LV than for capecitabine (€352 vs €78, respectively). The cost of emergency room visits for the treatment of adverse events did not differ between the treatment groups. With respect to the lifetime horizon, compared with FU+LV, capecitabine is projected to increase QALMs by a mean 6.5 months, with overall cost savings of €2234 over the treatment period. These findings show that capecitabine is an economically dominant treatment in this setting. Conclusions: Adjuvant capecitabine for patients with Dukes' C colon cancer has the same activity in terms of outcome when compared with FU+LV but is a lower cost option from the economic perspective of the Italian NHS.
- Capecitabine, therapeutic use
- Colon cancer
- Cost effectiveness
- Fluorouracil, therapeutic use
- Folinic acid, therapeutic use
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)