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Cost-effectiveness analysis of metformin with enzalutamide in the metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer setting
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Dec 2019 (Vol. 26, Issue 6, Pages( 10045 - 10053)


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    Enzalutamide (Enza) is an effective treatment for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCPRC). However, Enza is not cost-effective (CE) at willingness to pay (WTP) thresholds from $0-$125 000/quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and is therefore a strain on valuable health care dollars. Metformin (Met) is inexpensive (~$8.00/month) and is thought to improve prostate cancer specific and overall survival compared to those not taking Met. We hypothesized that there must be an added effect Met could provide that would make Enza CE thereby alleviating this financial strain on government health care budgets.


    We constructed a Markov model and performed a threshold analysis to narrow in on the added effect needed to make such a combination therapy cost-effective at various WTP thresholds.


    At a WTP threshold of $50 000/QALY Enza + Met is unlikely to be CE unless it increases Enza's efficacy by more than 30%. At a WTP threshold of $100 000, Enza + Met could be CE barring Met adds 18.73% to the efficacy of Enza.


    Enza + Met is unlikely to be CE at WTP thresholds less than $100 000/QALY; these results make sense because a therapy that is not CE at these WTP thresholds by itself is unlikely to be CE with an adjuvant therapy that keep a patient on such a treatment for even longer. Finally, our model suggests that the mCRPC setting is not the optimal place to trial adding Met as the relative costs are high and utility values low.

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December 2019, Vol.26 No.6
canadian journal of urology