Lenalidomide for the Treatment of Low- or Intermediate-1-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes Associated with Deletion 5q Cytogenetic Abnormality: An Evidence Review of the NICE Submission from Celgene

Hedwig M. Blommestein*, Nigel Armstrong, Steve Ryder, Sohan Deshpande, Gill Worthy, Caro Noake, Rob Riemsma, Jos Kleijnen, Johan L. Severens, Maiwenn J. Al

*Corresponding author for this work

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) invited the manufacturer of lenalidomide (Celgene) to submit evidence of the clinical and cost effectiveness of the drug for treating adults with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) associated with deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality, as part of the Institute’s single technology appraisal (STA) process. Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd (KSR), in collaboration with Erasmus University Rotterdam, was commissioned to act as the Evidence Review Group (ERG). This paper describes the company’s submission, the ERG review, and the NICE’s subsequent decisions. The ERG reviewed the evidence for clinical and cost effectiveness of the technology, as submitted by the manufacturer to the NICE. The ERG searched for relevant additional evidence and validated the manufacturer’s decision analytic model to examine the robustness of the cost-effectiveness results. Clinical effectiveness was obtained from a three-arm, European, randomized, phase III trial among red blood cell (RBC) transfusion-dependent patients with low-/intermediate-1-risk del5q31 MDS. The primary endpoint was RBC independence for ≥26 weeks, and was reached by a higher proportion of patients in the lenalidomide 10 and 5 mg groups compared with placebo (56.1 and 42.6 vs 5.9 %, respectively; both p < 0.001). The option of dose adjustments after 16 weeks due to dose-limiting toxicities or lack of response made long-term effectiveness estimates unreliable, e.g. overall survival (OS). The de novo model of the manufacturer included a Markov state-transition cost-utility model implemented in Microsoft Excel. The base-case incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of the manufacturer was £56,965. The ERG assessment indicated that the modeling structure represented the course of the disease; however, a few errors were identified and some of the input parameters were challenged. In response to the appraisal documentation, the company revised the economic model, which increased the ICER to £68,125 per quality-adjusted life-year. The NICE Appraisal Committee (AC) did not recommend lenalidomide as a cost-effective treatment. Subsequently, the manufacturer submitted a Patient Access Scheme (PAS) that provided lenalidomide free of charge for patients who remained on treatment after 26 cycles. This PAS improved the ICER to £25,300, although the AC considered the proportion of patients who received treatment beyond 26 cycles, and hence the ICER, to be uncertain. Nevertheless, the AC accepted a commitment from the manufacturer to publish, once available, data on the proportion of patients eligible for the PAS, and believed this provided reassurance that lenalidomide was a cost-effective treatment for low- or intermediate-1-risk MDS patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Best Suoortive Care
  • Evidence Review Group
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Appraisal Committee

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