A pharmacoeconomic evaluation of cisplatin in combination with either etoposide or etoposide phosphate in small cell lung cancer

Semin Oncol. 1996 Dec;23(6 Suppl 13):51-60.


To compare etoposide and etoposide phosphate (Etopophos; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ) in maximizing the cost efficiency of care for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), we obtained pharmacoeconomic data from a phase II randomized study of these agents. This clinical investigation assessed the efficacy and toxicity of etoposide phosphate combined with cisplatin in treating SCLC. In the economic analysis, we identified resources expended during chemotherapy and related concomitant procedures and matched them with the current procedure terminology level of costs for the provider and the payor. The valuation process was conducted in the specific point-of-care (outpatient v inpatient) setting. The appropriate pharmacoeconomic analytic tool used when comparators are considered to achieve equivalent clinical outcomes is cost-minimization analysis. We provide the cost-minimization analysis from two oncology care perspectives: the provider and the payor. In addition, a payor/ provider cost reduction model was constructed to illustrate the potential economic effects achieved through more efficient use of the outpatient chemotherapy facility due to the ease of administration of etoposide phosphate. The provider's average cost per patient for treating an SCLC patient for six cycles in US dollars is $26,764.48 for etoposide versus $26,026.70 for etoposide phosphate. The payor's average treatment cost per patient for treating an SCLC patient for six cycles for the respective regimens was $34,270.65 and $34,320.70. When the time savings associated with the etoposide phosphate regimen are applied to the outpatient chemotherapy facility, the adjusted average treatment costs per patient for the payor are $2,797.29 less than the costs for using the standard etoposide intravenous formulation. Delivering an etoposide phosphate regimen accrued adjusted savings of $2,897.03 per patient. Based on these results, etoposide phosphate is a superior pharmacoeconomic alternative compared with standard etoposide chemotherapy in managing SCLC. The potential increase in patient volume conferred by the relative simplicity of etoposide phosphate administration would have a significant impact on operations in terms of scheduling patients and staff and increasing operational efficiencies, thereby facilitating cost reductions in excess of $2,700 per patient when an etoposide phosphate regimen is chosen over an etoposide regimen.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / economics*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / economics
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / economics
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Economics, Pharmaceutical
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Etoposide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Etoposide / economics*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / economics
  • Models, Economic
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / economics*


  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • etoposide phosphate
  • Etoposide
  • Cisplatin