Open Access Research article

Budget impact analysis of first-line treatment with pazopanib for advanced renal cell carcinoma in Spain

Guillermo Villa and Luis-Javier Hernández-Pastor*

Author Affiliations

Departamento de Evaluación de Medicamentos y Gestión Sanitaria, GlaxoSmithKline España, Severo Ochoa, 2, 28760, Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:399  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-399

Published: 2 September 2013



Due to economic constraints, cancer therapies are under close scrutiny by clinicians, pharmacists and payers alike. There is no published pharmacoeconomic evidence guiding the choice of first-line therapy for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the Spanish setting. We aimed to develop a model describing the natural history of RCC that can be used in healthcare decision-making. We particularly analyzed the budget impact associated with the introduction of pazopanib compared to sunitinib under the Spanish National Healthcare System (NHS) perspective.


We developed a Markov model to estimate the future number of cases of advanced RCC (patients with favorable or intermediate risk) resulting either from initial diagnosis or disease progression after surgery. The model parameters were obtained from the literature. We assumed that patients would receive either pazopanib or sunitinib as first-line therapy until disease progression. Pharmacological costs and costs associated with the management of adverse events (AE) were considered. A univariate sensitivity analysis was undertaken in order to test the robustness of the results.


The model predicted an adult RCC prevalence of 7.5/100,000 (1-year), 20.7/100,000 (3-year) and 32.5/100,000 (5-year). These figures are very close to GLOBOCAN reported RCC prevalence estimates of 7.6/100,000, 20.2/100,000 and 31.1/100,000, respectively. The model predicts 1,591 advanced RCC patients with favorable or intermediate risk in Spain in 2013. Annual per patient pharmacological costs were €32,365 and €39,232 with pazopanib and sunitinib, respectively. Annual costs associated with the management of AE were €662 and €974, respectively. Overall annual per patient costs were €7,179 (18%) lower with pazopanib compared to sunitinib. For every point increase in the percentage of patients treated with pazopanib, the NHS would save €67,236. If all the 1,591 patients predicted were treated with pazopanib, the NHS would save €6,723,622 in 2013. Results were robust according to the sensitivity analysis.


We developed a model that accurately reproduces the natural history of RCC and can be thus used in healthcare decision-making. When applied to the Spanish case, the introduction of pazopanib results in savings for the NHS, as a consequence of both reduced pharmacological costs and lower costs associated with the management of AE compared to sunitinib.

Renal cell carcinoma; Kidney cancer; Pazopanib; Sunitinib; Markov models; Budget impact analysis; Cost analysis