Background Clinical trials (CT) in oncology constitute a continued growth area. Besides contributing new molecules which improve patients’ prognosis, they also involve a saving measure due to drugs that are supplied by the sponsor.
Purpose To determine the avoided cost attributable to supplied drugs by CT in oncology during one year.
Material and methods Observational, retrospective study of CT done in an Oncology Department of a tertiary hospital from July 2017 to June 2018. Data were obtained from the Pharmacy’s clinical trial programme, PKensayos: number of patients; number of drug units dispensed per clinical trial; avoided cost (supplied drugs by sponsor with label indication and marketed in the European Union (EU)); and total cost (supplied drugs by both sponsor and Pharmacy with label indication and marketed in the EU). More prevalent pathologies were reviewed. Exclusion criteria: investigational, not marketed drugs and blinded samples.
Drugs’ prices were collected of average price, purchased in the Pharmacy.
Results During the whole period of study, 76 CT were done in the Oncology Department, of which 38 met the requirements of this study. The number of patients was 261. The average of drug units dispensed per CT: 58.5 (1–1512); avoided cost: €3,482,662; and what supposes €13,343/patient. Total cost: €5595 and €21,438/patient.
Drugs with highest avoided cost: nivolumab (€1,336,303),>pemetrexed (€543,717), and >ipilimumab (€467,006). Drugs with highest total cost: nivolumab (€1,336,303),>ipilimumab (€1,336,303), and >pemetrexed (€546,026). The most prevalent pathology was lung cancer (19 CT, 14 of which were non-small cell lung cancer) and melanoma (four CT).
Conclusion The CT are an opportunity to contain pharmaceutical costs in hospitals. Patients in CT produced a cost saving of €3,482,662/year. The potential savings justify the need to incorporate as many clinical trials as possible, not just for cost savings but because it would mean better access for patients to these highly effective and/or breakthrough therapies.
References and/or acknowledgements None.
No conflict of interest.