Background: Before the approval of dabrafenib and trametinib in combination, there were no approved therapies in the adjuvant setting that target the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway.
Objective: To evaluate the budget impact of dabrafenib and trametinib in combination for adjuvant treatment of patients with BRAF V600 mutation-positive resected Stage IIIA, IIIB, or IIIC melanoma from a U.S. commercial payer perspective using data from the COMBI-AD trial, as well as other sources.
Methods: The budget impact of dabrafenib and trametinib in combination for patients with BRAF V600E/K mutation-positive, resected Stage IIIA, IIIB, or IIIC melanoma was evaluated from the perspective of a hypothetical population of 1 million members with demographic characteristics consistent with those of a commercially insured U.S. insurance plan (i.e., adults aged less than 65 years) using an economic model developed in Microsoft Excel. The model compared melanoma-related health care costs over a 3-year projection period under 2 scenarios: (1) a reference scenario in which dabrafenib and trametinib are assumed to be unavailable for adjuvant therapy and (2) a new scenario in which the combination is assumed to be available. Treatments potentially displaced by dabrafenib and trametinib were assumed to include observation, high-dose interferon alpha-2b, ipilimumab, and nivolumab. Costs considered in the model include those of adjuvant therapies and treatment of locoregional and distant recurrences. The numbers of patients eligible for treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib were based on data from cancer registries, published sources, and assumptions. Treatment mixes under the reference and new scenarios were based on market research data, clinical expert opinion, and assumptions. Probabilities of recurrence and death were based on data from the COMBI-AD trial and an indirect treatment comparison. Medication costs were based on wholesale acquisition cost prices. Costs of distant recurrence were from a health insurance claims study.
Results: In a hypothetical population of 1 million commercially insured members, 48 patients were estimated to become eligible for treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib in combination over the 3-year projection period; in the new scenario, 10 patients were projected to receive such treatment. Cumulative costs of melanoma-related care were estimated to be $6.3 million in the reference scenario and $6.9 million in the new scenario. The budget impact of dabrafenib and trametinib in combination was an increase of $549 thousand overall and 1.5 cents per member per month.
Conclusions: For a hypothetical U.S. commercial health plan of 1 million members, the budget impact of dabrafenib and trametinib in combination as adjuvant treatment for melanoma is likely to be relatively modest and within the range of published estimates for oncology therapies. These results may assist payers in making coverage decisions regarding the use of adjuvant dabrafenib and trametinib in melanoma.