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Cost-effectiveness of treatments for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and associated metastases: an overview of systematic reviews

Introduction: Treatment of human epithelial growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer has rapidly evolved over the past decades with the addition of trastuzumab, lapatinib, pertuzumab, and trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1). These treatments have dramatically impacted the survival of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (mBC) patients. Nonetheless, these agents are associated with high price tags, begging the question, "Are treatments for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and associated metastases cost-effective"?

Areas covered: We examine evidence on the cost-effectiveness of treatments for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and associated metastases through a review of systematic reviews on the topic. Additionally, we discuss the implications of our findings and provide recommendations for future directions in the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of targeted directed agents for HER2-positive mBC.

Expert opinion: Heterogeneous evidence from cost-effectiveness studies on the use of targeted directed agents for HER2-positive mBC across the world caution against cross-country comparisons of the value of such treatments. It also militates in favor of the production and use of cost-effectiveness analyses for local rather than global decision-making, thus ensuring that economic evaluations reflect the needs of local decision-makers and populations for which they are devised.

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