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Cost–effectiveness analysis of adjuvant therapy for node positive breast cancer in Korea: docetaxel, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (TAC) versus fluorouracil, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (FAC)

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Background This study evaluated the incremental cost–effectiveness (ICER) and cost–utility ratios (ICUR) of TAC compared with FAC following primary surgery for node positive breast cancer patients in Korea. Materials and methods A cost–effectiveness analysis was performed using the Markov model from the combined view of Korean National Health Insurance and patients. The model allowed assessment from the beginning of the first cycle of adjuvant chemotherapy following primary surgery until death. Relevant clinical data were obtained from the clinical trial BCIRG 001 and data for local treatment patterns and direct medical costs were obtained from three Korean hospitals. Results Over a life time horizon, the life expectancy of TAC was 0.9 years longer than that of FAC. The ICER was 8,025,879 Korean won (KW, €6,573) per life year gained and the ICUR was 8,885,794 KW (€7,277) per QALY gained when the cost and effectiveness were discounted at 5%. The model was most sensitive to the percent patient receiving prophylactic granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in TAC arm and the ICUR was 12,119,561 KW (€9,926) when assuming 100%. Conclusions TAC appears to be cost–effective in the management of early breast cancer in Korea.

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This study was funded by a grant from sanofi-aventis Korea. Part of this study was presented as a poster at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) 2nd Asia-Pacific conference 2006. The authors thank two anonymous referees for helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Sang Gyu Lee.

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An invited commentary to this article can be found at doi:10.1007/s10549-008-0142-y.

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Lee, S.G., Jee, Y.G., Chung, H.C. et al. Cost–effectiveness analysis of adjuvant therapy for node positive breast cancer in Korea: docetaxel, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (TAC) versus fluorouracil, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (FAC). Breast Cancer Res Treat 114, 589–595 (2009).

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