Objectives: This cost-efficiency analysis of the granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF) filgrastim (originator Neupogen® and biosimilar Zarzio®) and pegfilgrastim (Neulasta®) examined against a time horizon of 1-14 days of treatment and across the European Union G5 countries (a) when, cost-wise, using Neulasta® 6 mg versus Neupogen® or Zarzio® 300 µg may be cost-saving in reducing the incidence of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia; and (b) if cost-wise, treatment with Zarzio® 300 µg yields a savings advantage over Neupogen® 300 µg.
Methods: Cost-efficiency analysis of the direct costs a buyer or payer would incur when purchasing or covering any of these agents for managing one patient during one cycle of chemotherapy under regimens of 1-14 days of standard filgrastim using the population-weighted average unit dose cost of each agent per their public pack cost across the European G5 countries.
Results: The cost of Neupogen® treatment ranged from €128.16 (1 day) to €1794.30 (14 days), compared to €95.46 and €1336.46 for Zarzio®, thus yielding potential cost savings from €32.70 to €457.84 for the latter. Neulasta® turns cost-saving at day 12 of Neupogen® treatment. At no point over a 14-day treatment period did Neulasta® yield a savings advantage over Zarzio®.
Conclusion: Prophylaxis or treatment of febrile neutropenia with Zarzio® is cost-efficient under all possible treatment scenarios relative to Neupogen® and to Neulasta®. In the absence of convincing evidence that pegfilgrastim is pharmacotherapeutically superior to standard filgrastim, there is no cost-efficiency rationale to treat with Neulasta® over Zarzio®, though there may be a small window of approximately 3 days where Neulasta® is cost-efficient over Neupogen®. Regardless, our analysis shows Zarzio® to be the most cost-efficient approach to reducing the incidence of febrile neutropenia in chemotherapy-treated patients.