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New Study Demonstrates Ropeginterferon Alfa-2b-njft Is a Cost-Effective Treatment Option for a Broad Range of Patients with Polycythemia Vera

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PharmaEssentia USA Corporation, a subsidiary of PharmaEssentia Corporation (TPEx:6446), a global biopharmaceutical innovator based in Taiwan leveraging deep expertise and proven scientific principles to deliver new biologics in hematology and oncology, today announced the publication of a cost-effectiveness analysis of ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft (marketed as BESREMi®) in the Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research. The analysis, titled “Cost-Effectiveness of Ropeginterferon Alfa-2b-njft for the Treatment of Polycythemia Vera,” showed that ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft provided a cost-effective benefit for a broad range of patients with polycythemia vera (PV) versus first-line hydroxyurea followed by ruxolitinib. Cost effectiveness was demonstrated in a modeled population including both low- and high-risk patients receiving first- or second-line treatment with ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft.

“PV is a chronic blood cancer that requires lifelong therapy, which can prevent or delay negative clinical outcomes, but is also associated with additional costs to patients and payers. These new data demonstrate ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft’s value not only to people living with PV, but also to the healthcare system at large,” said Dr. Aaron Gerds, MD, MS, Medical Director at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead study author. “This study shows ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft is a cost-effective treatment option over the modeled lifetime and that earlier initiation of treatment of PV with effective therapy can translate to more favorable cost to benefit ratios.”

PV is the most common myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) and a long-term, potentially life-threatening disease with limited approved treatment options. Patients with PV are at risk for disease progression to myelofibrosis (post-PV MF) or transformation to blast phase (MPN-BP) which is akin to acute myeloid leukemia1-3. Patients are also at an increased risk for arterial and venous thromboembolic events (TEs) which are associated with higher mortality, lower quality of life, and higher healthcare costs4-7.

This new study used an economic model developed from the United States healthcare system perspective. Inputs were informed by the data from randomized clinical trials, including the PROUD-PV and CONTINUATION-PV studies, and from real-world sources. The model compared ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft used either as first- or second-line therapy versus an alternative treatment pathway of first-line hydroxyurea followed by ruxolitinib. To reflect the long-term consequences of treating PV, results were presented over a lifetime horizon.

Findings from the study conclude ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft is a cost-effective treatment option for a broad range of patients with PV, including both low- and high-risk patients and patients with and without prior cytoreductive treatment with hydroxyurea. Of note:

  • These data show that over the modeled lifetime, patients who receive ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft have more years alive (0.4), higher quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) (0.4), and higher cost ($60,175) as compared to the alternative treatment pathway. Weighing the additional costs versus the additional QALY gains results in a cost per QALY of $141,783.
  • This cost per QALY is less than a standard willingness to pay threshold of $150,000 per QALY8.
  • In this study, treating patients at a younger age or those with low-risk disease led to more cost-effective results, suggesting that earlier initiation of treatment of PV with effective therapy can translate to more favorable cost to benefit ratios.
  • The model was sensitive to treatment costs, the percentage of patients who discontinue hydroxyurea, the percentage of ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft users who switch to monthly dosing, the percentage of ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft users as 2nd line treatment, and the treatment response rates.

“Ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft has demonstrated safety and efficacy in studies including both low- and high-risk patients and patients with and without prior cytoreductive treatment with HU. Recently, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) updated their treatment guidelines to include ropeginterferon as a preferred treatment regimen for both low- and high-risk PV patients9. As ropeginterferon continues to be more widely used in clinical practice, this study was imperative to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft for a broad range of patients with PV,” said Raymond Urbanski, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and U.S. Head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at PharmaEssentia. “This analysis also underscores the importance of treating low-risk patients and patients early in their disease journey to help minimize more severe events and their corresponding costs to the healthcare system.”

The full benefits of ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft may not be fully captured in the model, and in particular, data on disutility of phlebotomy are lacking. Although some patients may tolerate regular phlebotomies, others can experience iron deficiency which can negatively impact quality of life. While the results from a scenario analysis incorporating a small decrement in utility had minimal impact on the cost-effectiveness results, due to the lack of data in this area, this estimate remains conservative. This study took a U.S. healthcare perspective, and the results may not generalize to other countries given the differences in healthcare resource use, costs and cost-effectiveness thresholds.


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