Rituximab and trastuzumab were the first monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) approved for the treatment of cancer patients. Both antibodies are administered intravenously (EV), but subcutaneous (SC) formulations have recently been developed. SC formulations proved to be as safe and effective as EV and to offer substantial benefits to the patient.
The aim of this study was to provide a multidimensional assessment of the impact of rituximab and trastuzumab SC compared to the EV formulation, providing a particular focus on expected social and economic benefits for the patient.
The best established HTA methods were applied to gather and organize evidence concerning the clinical, economic, organizational, social and ethical impact of SC formulations of rituximab and trastuzumab. Social aspects were investigated applying regression methods to data collected with a previous research, while the potential savings associated with the use of SC formulations were estimated by a simple economic model applying the societal perspective.
Patients undergoing subcutaneous formulation are significantly more satisfied with their treatment experience than those treated with intravenous formulation. Subcutaneous formulation reduces patient dosing times, with a positive effect on the care provider’s autonomy and productivity. Potential savings associated with the use of rituximab SC were estimated in € 4,050 per patient per year on average. For trastuzumab SC the estimated potential savings amounted to € 3,400 per patient per year, on average.
Rituximab and trastuzumab are promising treatment options significantly improving patients qol and reducing the treatment burden in terms of societal costs.
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