Ribociclib with an Aromatase Inhibitor for Previously Untreated, HR-Positive, HER2-Negative, Locally Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer: An Evidence Review Group Perspective of a NICE Single Technology Appraisal

Nasuh C. Buyukkaramikli*, Saskia de Groot, Rob Riemsma, Debra Fayter, Nigel Armstrong, Piet Portegijs, Steven Duffy, Jos Kleijnen, Maiwenn J. Al

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as part of the institute's single technology appraisal process, invited the manufacturer of ribociclib (Kisqali((R)), Novartis) to submit evidence regarding the clinical and cost effectiveness of the drug in combination with an aromatase inhibitor for the treatment of previously untreated, hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd and Erasmus University Rotterdam were commissioned as the Evidence Review Group for this submission. The Evidence Review Group reviewed the evidence submitted by the manufacturer, corrected and validated the manufacturer's decision analytic model, and conducted exploratory analyses to assess the robustness and validity of the presented clinical and cost-effectiveness results. This article describes the company submission, the Evidence Review Group assessment and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence subsequent decisions. The main clinical effectiveness evidence was obtained from the MONALEESA-2 trial, a randomised controlled trial comparing ribociclib plus letrozole with placebo plus letrozole. Progression-free survival was significantly longer in the ribociclib group (95% confidence interval, 19.3-not reached) vs. 14.7 months (95% confidence interval 13.0-16.5) in the placebo group. To assess the cost effectiveness of ribociclib in combination with an aromatase inhibitor, the company developed an individual patient-level model using a discrete-event simulation approach in Microsoft((R)) Excel. In the model, simulated patients move through a series of three health states until death, i.e. first-line progression-free survival, second-line progression-free survival and progressive disease. The length of progression-free survival during the first line was informed by the MONALEESA-2 trial. The benefit in progression-free survival in the first line was transferred to a benefit in overall survival assuming full progression-free survival to overall survival surrogacy (because of the immaturity of overall survival data from the MONALEESA-2 trial). Patient-level data from the BOLERO-2 trial, evaluating the addition of everolimus to exemestane in the second-line treatment of postmenopausal HR-positive advanced breast cancer, were used to inform the length of progression-free survival during the second line. Costs included in the model were treatment costs (e.g. technology acquisition costs of first, second, third and/or later line treatments), drug administration costs, monitoring costs and health state costs (including terminal care). Additionally, the costs of adverse events associated with the first-line treatment were incorporated. The Evidence Review Group recalculated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio using data from a different data cut-off date from the MONALEESA-2 trial and by changing some assumptions (e.g. progression-free survival to overall survival surrogacy approach and post-progression third and/or later line treatment-related costs). After two appraisal committee meetings and a revised base case submitted by the company (including a second enhanced patient access scheme discount), the committee concluded that taking into account the uncertainties in the calculation of the cost effectiveness, there were plausible cost-effectiveness estimates broadly in the range that could be considered as a cost-effective use of National Health Service resources.

Therefore, ribociclib was recommended as a treatment option for the first-line treatment of hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative breast cancer, contingent on the company providing ribociclib with the discount agreed in the second enhanced patient access scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019



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