Cortesi PA, D’Angiolella LS, Vellucci R, Allegri M, Casale G, Favaretti C, Kheiraoui F, Cesana G, Mantovani LG.
June 2017
Plos One



Breakthrough cancer Pain (BTcP) has a high prevalence in cancer population. Patients with BTcP reported relevant health care costs and poor quality of life. The study assessed the cost-effectiveness of the available Oral Fentanyl Formulations (OFFs) for BTcP in Italy. A decision-analytical model was developed to estimate costs and benefits associated with treatments, from the Italian NHS perspective. Expected reductions in pain intensity per BTcP episodes were translated into, percentage of BTcP reduction, resource use and Quality-Adjusted-Life-Years (QALYs). Relative efficacy, resources used and unit costs data were derived from the literature and validated by clinical experts. Probabilistic and deterministic sensitivity analyses were performed. At base-case analysis, Sublingual Fentanyl Citrate (FCSL) compared to other oral formulations reported a lower patient’s cost (€1,960.8) and a higher efficacy (18.7% of BTcP avoided and 0.0507 QALYs gained). The sensitivity analyses confirmed the main results in all tested scenarios, with the highest impact reported by BTcP duration and health care resources consumption parameters. Between OFFs, FCSL is the cost-effective option due to faster reduction of pain intensity. However, new research is needed to better understand the economic and epidemiologic impact of BTcP, and to collect more robust data on economic and quality of life impact of the different fentanyl formulations.

Different fentanyl formulations are available to manage BTcP in cancer population. The study is the first that assesses the different impact in terms of cost and effectiveness of OFFs, providing new information to better allocate the resources available to treat BTcP and highlighting the need of better data.

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