An economic evaluation of nivolumab for the treatment of squamous and non-squamous NSCLC in the Swedish setting

  • Caitlin Smare PAREXEL International, London, UK
  • Meena Venkatachalam PAREXEL International, London, UK
  • Emma Medin PAREXEL International, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Marcus Hultberg PAREXEL International, Stockholm, Sweden
  • John R Penrod Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • Nadine Hertel Bristol-Myers Squibb, London, UK
  • Michael Lees Bristol-Myers Squibb, Paris, France
  • Christoffer Holmberg Bristol-Myers Squibb, Stockholm, Sweden
Keywords: nivolumab, NSCLC, Sweden, cost-effectiveness analysis, programmed death-1 inhibitor


The cost-effectiveness of nivolumab versus docetaxel in patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was estimated in a cohort-based, partitioned survival model with three health states (progression-free, progressed disease, and death) and a time horizon of 15 years. The base-case model was developed using extrapolations of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) data from the CheckMate 017 and 057 randomized trials, and 2015 Swedish unit costs. An annual discount rate of 3% was applied. Base-case time-on-treatment was based on PFS (CheckMate 017) or time-to-treatment discontinuation (CheckMate 057), depending on whether PFS was a close proxy for time-on-treatment. Data extrapolations from CheckMate 017 and 057 were validated against external trial and registry data. Model utilities were derived from CheckMate 017 and 057 with UK weights (base-case) and Swedish weights (scenario analysis). Uncertainty was assessed using sensitivity analyses adjusted for clinical, utility, and cost data. Outcomes included incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. The base-case model showed that nivolumab was associated with QALY gains of 0.72 (squamous) and 0.81 (non-squamous) versus docetaxel at an incremental cost of 734,573 SEK (€69,174) and 999,032 SEK (€94,078), respectively. This resulted in an incremental cost per QALY gained for nivolumab versus docetaxel of 1,013,697 SEK (€95,459) and 1,231,664 SEK (€115,985) in squamous and non-squamous NSCLC, respectively. Scenario analysis utilizing Swedish utility weights resulted in slightly lower incremental cost per QALY gained of 855,505 SEK (€80,562) (squamous) and 1,165,401 SEK (€109,745) (non-squamous). Deterministic sensitivity analysis showed that utility weights, treatment costs, discount rates, and body weight were key drivers of cost-effectiveness. Overall, the model showed that cost-effectiveness was driven by nivolumab price, but nivolumab remained cost-effective in squamous and non-squamous NSCLC in accordance with previous appraisals by the Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency (Tandvårds- och läkemedelsförmånsverket) and New Therapies Council in Sweden.

Published: Online December 2019.