Effectiveness and healthcare costs of eribulin versus capecitabine among metastatic breast cancer patients in Taiwan

Yu Ju Lin, Chun Nan Kuo, Yu Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare the real-world effectiveness and costs of eribulin to those of capecitabine in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) pretreated with anthracyclines and taxanes. Methods: This study extracted data from the Health and Welfare Database in Taiwan to identify MBC patients, and then eribulin and capecitabine users were matched at a 1:1 ratio by age, residential region, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, and molecular subtype of BC cell. The overall survival (OS) and time-to-treatment discontinuation (TTD) curves were plotted using the Kaplan–Meier method. Healthcare utilization and costs between the two groups were compared. Results: A total of 24,550 MBC patients were identified, and 298 patients were enrolled in each group after matching. The median OS was 11.8 months for eribulin (95%CI: 11.5–13.5 months) and 15.2 months for capecitabine (95%CI: 15.3–17.9 months; HR = 1.7, p < 0.0001). The median TTD was 4.0 months for eribulin and 6.6 months for capecitabine (HR = 1.6; p < 0.0001). No significant difference was found between the two groups in patients with >4 prior chemotherapy agents (OS: HR 1.1, 95%CI 0.8–1.5; TTD: HR 1.2, 95%CI 0.9–1.7). The total healthcare costs per patient during the treatment period were NT$580,523.8 for eribulin versus NT$497,223.8 for capecitabine (p < 0.0001), and total medication costs were NT$438,335.8 and NT$348,438.4 (p < 0.0001), respectively. Conclusion: Although eribulin showed an attenuated effect in the real-world setting in Taiwan, it may serve as an alternative for capecitabine in a heavy pretreated population. The total healthcare and medication costs were found to be higher with eribulin treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents/economics
  • Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Capecitabine/economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Furans/economics
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Ketones/economics
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Quality of Life
  • Taiwan/epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


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