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BackgroundThe objective of this study was to conduct a cost-effectiveness evaluation of pemetrexed compared to docetaxel in the treatment of advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) for patients with predominantly non-squamous histology in the Spanish healthcare setting.MethodsA Markov model was designed consisting of stable, responsive, progressive disease and death states. Patients could also experience adverse events as long as they received chemotherapy. Clinical inputs were based on an analysis of a phase III clinical trial that identified a statistically significant improvement in overall survival for non-squamous patients treated with pemetrexed compared with docetaxel. Costs were collected from the Spanish healthcare perspective.ResultsOutcomes of the model included total costs, total quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), total life years gained (LYG) and total progression-free survival (PFS). Mean survival was 1.03 years for the pemetrexed arm and 0.89 years in the docetaxel arm; QALYs were 0.52 compared to 0.42. Per-patient lifetime costs were 34677 euros and 32343 euros, respectively. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were 23967 euros per QALY gained and 17225 euros per LYG.ConclusionsPemetrexed as a second-line treatment option for patients with a predominantly non-squamous histology in NSCLC is a cost-effective alternative to docetaxel according to the 30000 euros /QALY threshold commonly accepted in Spain.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC cancer

Publication Date





IMS Health, 7 Harewood Avenue, NW1 6JB, London, UK.


Cell Line, Tumor, Humans, Carcinoma, Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Lung Neoplasms, Disease Progression, Taxoids, Guanine, Glutamates, Disease-Free Survival, Treatment Outcome, Markov Chains, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Quality of Life, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Spain, Female, Male, Pemetrexed, Docetaxel