Purpose: Existing health technology assessment methods can be time-consuming and complicated to use in practice. EValuation of pharmaceutical Innovations with regard to Therapeutic Advantage (EVITA) is a recently developed drug assessment strategy that provides a detailed and clinically relevant evaluation of new agents compared to standard therapies. We therefore sought to use EVITA to evaluate eight novel agents recently introduced to clinical practice or in late-stage trials for the treatment of prostate cancer, metastatic melanoma, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Eight agents (abiraterone, enzalutamide, sipuleucel-T, Prostvac, radium 223, ipilimumab, vemurafenib, and belimumab) were selected for study using the EVITA algorithm. A comprehensive literature search was performed to find clinical trial data, which were then classified using the EVITA protocol. EVITA was also compared to results from health technology assessments (HTAs) or reimbursement decisions.
Results: The EVITA scores for the eight drugs ranged from 5.5 to 9: all the selected agents are therefore classed as ‘recommended’ and are likely to produce a therapeutic advantage. In particular, vemurafenib is likely to be highly beneficial to patients with metastatic melanoma and radium 223 to patients with metastatic prostate cancer affecting the bone. The EVITA results were generally concordant with HTAs.
Conclusions: All the agents show favourable EVITA scores and are therefore recommended for clinical practice. EVITA is an easy-to-use tool that provides clinical context to the assessment of newly introduced agents and can be easily used by non-specialists.