BACKGROUND: New 3-drug regimens have been developed and approved to treat multiple myeloma (MM). The absence of direct comparative data and the high cost of treatment support the need to assess the relative clinical and economic outcomes across all approved regimens.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of treatments for relapsed and/or refractory MM from a U.S. health system perspective.

METHODS: We developed a partition survival model with 3 health states (progression-free, progression, and death) to evaluate the following regimens: carfilzomib (CFZ), elotuzumab (ELO), ixazomib (IX), daratumumab (DAR), and panobinostat (PAN) in combination with lenalidomide (LEN) or bortezomib (BOR) plus dexamethasone (DEX) in the second and/or third line of therapy. To estimate relative treatment effects, we developed a network meta-analysis and applied progression-free survival hazard ratios to baseline parametric progression-free survival functions derived from pooled data on LEN+DEX. We estimated overall survival using data on the relationship between progression-free survival and overall survival from a large meta-analysis of MM patients. Modeled costs included those related to drug treatment, administration, monitoring, adverse events, and progression. Utilities were from publicly available data and manufacturer data, if published sources were unavailable.

RESULTS: Model results showed that regimens containing DAR yielded
the highest expected life years (DAR range: 6.71-7.38 vs. non-DAR range: 3.25-5.27) and quality-adjusted life-years (QALY; DAR range: 4.38-5.44
vs. non-DAR range: 2.04-3.46), with DAR+BOR+DEX (second line) and PAN+BOR+DEX (third line) as the most cost-effective options (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio: $50,700 and cost saving, respectively). The applicability of the PAN+BOR+DEX result may be challenging, however, because of ongoing toxicity concerns. In the probabilistic sensitivity analysis, second-line DAR+BOR+DEX and third-line PAN+BOR+DEX had an 89% and 87% probability of being cost-effective at the $150,000 per QALY threshold, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of newer drugs and regimens to treat second- and third-line relapsed/refractory MM appears to provide clinical benefits by lengthening progression-free and overall survival and improving quality of life. However, only the addition of DAR or PAN may be considered cost-effective options according to commonly cited thresholds, and PAN+BOR+DEX results require cautious interpretation. Achieving levels of value more closely aligned with patient benefit would require substantial discounts from the remaining agents evaluated.