Biomarker testing is indispensable for the implementation of precision medicine (PM) in oncology. Despite the potential improvements in patient outcomes of PM, there are concerns about the costs of PM, in particular about the costs for testing and medicines. This limits the use of PM in clinical practice because health care payers around the world are reluctant to reimburse the tests and associated medicines.
This study assesses the value of biomarker testing based on the example of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC). A health-economic model was used to compare different scenarios of biomarker testing that are reflective of past and near-future developments. Information on over 25 cancer medicines used in aNSCLC was incorporated. Health outcomes, health care costs, and non-health care costs were studied for 9 countries (Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Poland, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, United States).
Increased use of biomarker testing, in particular multigene testing, leads to various improved health outcomes. Overall costs increase with increased testing, but while costs for testing and medicines would increase, there are decreases in other medical services and non-health care costs. The comprehensive analysis of health outcomes and costs provides a differentiated picture of the possible value of biomarker testing.
Frontiers in Medicine, Volume 10-2023.