Publication Abstract

Authors: Lin PJ, Winn AN, Parsons SK, Neumann PJ, Weiss ES, Cohen JT

Title: Linking Costs and Survival in the Treatment of Older Adults With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: An Analysis of SEER-Medicare Data From 1995 to 2007.

Journal: Med Care 54(4):380-5

Date: 2016 Apr

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The high prices of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) therapy are well recognized, but less discussion has focused on the value of health care spending on the disease. This study examined whether the added costs have been "worth" the benefits among older adults with CML. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed trends in health care costs and survival over time of 2164 CML patients over age 65 using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare-linked database. We estimated life expectancy over a 15-year duration after diagnosis using a Weibull survival model and projected the corresponding costs using a 2-part model, adjusting for patient characteristics. We estimated population-level survival, total health care costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (expressed as cost per life year gained) over the period of 1995-2007. RESULTS: We found that therapeutic improvements in the treatment of CML have been associated with survival gains among older adults. Mean life expectancy was 2.2 years in 1995 and increased to 4.2 years in 2007. During the same timeframe, CML care costs have increased, from $127,000 in 1995 to $278,000 in 2007 (2010 dollars), mostly due to increasing tyrosine kinase inhibitor costs. The aggregated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $74,000/life year gained. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed that, despite high costs, CML care may provide reasonable value for money among older patients between 1995-2007. Our study sheds light on the value of health care spending on CML by considering both the costs and the benefits. Future research should investigate strategies to improve treatment adherence to maximize the value of CML care.