Significant Economic Burden Associated With Early Progression in Newly-Diagnosed Myeloma


A new study attempted to quantify the economic burden of early progression in patients with newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma.

The study will be presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (June 1-5, 2018; Chicago, IL).

Approximately 10-15% of patients with multiple myeloma experience early relapse, despite recent advancements in treatment options. The economic burden of relapse is relative unknown in this population.

Shivani Pandya, STATinMED Research (Plano, TX), and colleagues designed a study to assess the economic impact of early progression in patients with newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma without having received autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). Researchers utilized the United States Medicare database to identify 3768 patients with at least two multiple myeloma claims that were at least 30 days apart and included at least one therapy during the study period (2011-2015).

Eligibility criteria included continuous enrollment from at least 6 months prior to the earliest index or initial diagnosis date through at least the 12-month post-index date, at least one full cycle of therapy, no evidence of prior myeloma diagnosis or therapy (including ASCT), and no evidence of ASCT in the follow-up period.

Researchers noted that patients who progressed prior to the median time to next treatment (1028 days), as well as those who did not progress during follow-up, were included in the early progression and no progression cohorts, respectively. Annual per patient health care costs were compared between early and no progression cohorts of patients initiating doublet therapy in the first-line setting.


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Among the total patient population, 81.3% (n = 3065) initiated doublet therapy in the first-line setting, of whom 35.4% and 63.4% were included in the early and no progression cohorts, respectively. Those in the former cohort were younger—relative to the Medicare population—and incurred higher total costs than those in the no progression cohort ($120,604 vs $96,684, respectively;  .0001). Included in the overall cost data were outpatient, inpatient, office visits, emergency room, and pharmacy costs. Researchers noted that costs were inclusive of all health care costs, including multiple myeloma costs.

“This study helps in quantifying the economic burden of early progression, thereby indicating the need for therapies that delay progression,” authors of the study concluded.—Zachary Bessette