The Economic Burden of Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer and Skeletal Related Events in Japanese University Hospitals

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Urology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.

2 Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd, Osaka, Japan.


Objective: Although androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has improved the survival and quality of life of patients
with prostate cancer, resistance to treatment inevitably results in transition to a castration resistant state (CRPC) and, in
advanced cases, bone metastasis, leading to skeletal related events (SRE). In order to understand the current burden on
patients in Japan, there is a need to estimate the healthcare costs of CRPC treatment in current clinical practice. Methods:
This retrospective observational cohort study utilized claims data from 13 national university hospitals through the
Platform for Clinical Information Statistical Analysis database. Extracted data included the use of diagnostic tests, the
frequency and cost of hospitalizations and outpatient visits, and medication costs, using values from the Healthcare Fee
System and the National Health Insurance Drug Price List relative to each observed year. Results: Data were collected
from 4001 patients with CRPC, 97% of whom had undergone ADT. Between 2005 and 2016, the mean annualized
direct medical cost per patient was ¥739,147 (US$7060), of which 91% was related to medication, 4.8% to laboratory
and imaging, 4.1% to radiotherapy, and 0.1% to surgery. A total of 771 (19%) of the 4001 CRPC patients experienced
an SRE. Resource utilization was significantly higher (p<0.0001) in patients with SRE than in those without, with
mean annualized medication costs per patient of ¥1,074,885 and ¥659,006, respectively, and ¥108,807 and ¥71,392,
respectively, for laboratory and imaging. The occurrence of even one SRE led to a significant increase in costs and the
use of analgesics, compared to the prior period. Conclusions: A diagnosis of CRPC is associated with considerable
healthcare resource utilization and increased economic burden on patients, which are significantly higher in those with
SREs. Treatments that can prevent or delay SREs may help ease this burden, thereby providing cost savings across
Japanese healthcare systems.


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