Trends in Survival and Costs Among US Patients with Multiple Myeloma

Conference Correspondent - ASCO 2017


Survival among patients with multiple myeloma (MM) has improved over time due to new therapy advancements, but not much is known about parallel changes in healthcare costs. This study examined trends in both survival and healthcare costs from 2006 to 2014 in US patients with MM.

The MarketScan Commercial and Medicare claims data set was used to identify 5199 adult patients diagnosed with MM from January 2006 to December 2014. Patients had no prior evidence of cancer, were continuously enrolled for >12 months before MM diagnosis, and were followed through the earliest event, whether it was death, end of enrollment, or end of the study period. Patients were assessed from 2 time periods: 2006-2010 and 2011-2014. Healthcare costs and survival probabilities were estimated by multivariate generalized linear model and Cox proportional hazards models, while controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics. The recycled prediction method was used to calculate the incremental cost estimates between the time periods.

Of the patients included in the study, 2597 were diagnosed from 2006 to 2010, and 2602 patients were diagnosed from 2011 to 2014. A 35% lower risk of death was reported in patients diagnosed from 2011 to 2014 compared with those diagnosed from 2006 to 2010 (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57-0.74). Patients diagnosed from 2011 to 2014 had 18% (95% CI, 6-31) higher all-cause and 26% (95% CI, 6-50) higher MM-related per-patient per-month costs compared with those diagnosed from 2006 to 2010.

Researchers concluded that among MM patients, survival has improved at a greater rate than the increase in healthcare costs. In addition to improvements in MM treatment, changes in overall disease management may have contributed to both the increased expenditures and reduced mortality attributable to MM observed in this study.

Maiese EM, et al. ASCO Abstract 8046.