The Department of Biomedicine

CCBIO seminar: John Cairns

Assessing the cost-effectiveness of bevacizumab in the treatment of metastatic melanoma

John Cairns
Centre for Cancer Biomarkers, Department of Economics, University of Bergen, and Department of Health Services Research and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

In this seminar I will identify the main issues to be addressed when assessing the cost-effectiveness of bevacizumab in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. These will be illustrated using examples from recent economic evaluations of ipilimumab and BRAF (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B) inhibitors, vemurafenib and dabrafenib. The first issue concerns what are the relevant comparators (treatments to which bevacizumab should be compared).  The next concerns the design of the decision analytic model, and in particular how clinical data can be used to extrapolate progression-free and overall survival. The methods used to produce QALYs (quality-adjusted life-years) – a measure of the effectiveness of treatment – will be briefly explained. Issues concerning resource use and unit cost data will be outlined. Finally, the methods for exploring the inevitable uncertainty attending any assessment will be briefly explained.

Chairperson: Roger Strand <roger.strand@svt.uib.no>, CCBIO