Oral Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Assessing the cost-effectiveness of immunotherapy: Do modern drugs need modern methods? (#21)

Richard De Abreu Lourenco 1
  1. UTS, Broadway, NSW, Australia

Hardly a clinical meeting goes by without new data emerging on the use of immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer patients.  These data are usually positive: longer time without progression, better tolerability and ultimately longer survival than has been seen previously.  But are we seeing different kinds of benefits than we have before? And do those gains justify the price tags that accompany these new therapies? 

These are questions that drug reimbursement bodies, like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in Australia, consider on a regular basis.  Using examples from recent funding considerations by the PBAC for checkpoint inhibitors and other immunotherapies, this session will explore the implications for the assessment of cost-effectiveness of differences in the type and extent of benefit.  It will discuss how we might affect a change in what we consider to be cost-effective, including different approaches to capturing treatment benefits or altering the costs of care.  Ultimately, the session will explore the extent to which assessments of the cost-effectiveness of immunotherapies are affected by what we analyse rather than how.