Cost-Effectiveness of Ibrutinib as First-line Treatment for Older Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Iran



We aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of ibrutinib versus chemoimmunotherapy for frontline treatment of elderly patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in Iran.


We developed a partitioned survival model with 3 health states (progression-free survival, post-progression survival, and death) and a lifetime horizon. State memberships were determined by parametric survival analysis of the ALLIANCE (A041202) randomized controlled trial’s results, comparing first-line ibrutinib with bendamustine plus rituximab. Direct medical costs were calculated from an Iranian health system perspective. Utility values were extracted from the literature to calculate the incremental costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with each strategy. To address parameter uncertainties, deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were also performed.


In the base-case analysis, ibrutinib and bendamustine plus rituximab were associated with $3739.72 and $3991.20 costs per patient as the first-line treatment strategy, respectively. They resulted in an average of 2.86 and 2.66 QALYs per patient. Thus, first-line ibrutinib was associated with 0.20 incremental QALY and $251.48 cost-saving per patient and was therefore the “dominant” strategy. In deterministic sensitivity analysis, drug prices were the key drivers of model outputs. However, none of the resulting incremental cost-effectiveness ratios exceeded the currently accepted threshold by the Iranian Food and Drug Administration ($1550 per QALY). In probabilistic sensitivity analysis, 63.3% of iterations were cost-saving and 77.4% were cost-effective.


Our findings suggest that ibrutinib as a first-line treatment appears to be the dominant strategy, compared with the standard of care, for unselected older adults with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in Iran.


Soroush Fariman Fatemeh Momeni Nasab Hoda Faraji Monireh Afzali

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