BACKGROUND: Adding cetuximab to standard chemotherapy results in a moderate increase of overall survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the cost-effectiveness is unknown. Materials and methods: A Markov model was constructed based on the results of the First-Line ErbituX in lung cancer randomized trial, adding cetuximab to cisplatin-vinorelbine first-line chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC. The primary outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of adding cetuximab, expressed as cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained, and relative to a willingness-to-pay threshold of €60 000/QALY. The impact of cetuximab intermittent dosing schedules on the ICER was also evaluated. RESULTS: Adding cetuximab to standard chemotherapy leads to a gain of 0.07 QALYs per patient at an additional cost of €26 088. The ICER for adding cetuximab to chemotherapy was €376 205 per QALY gained. Intermittent cetuximab dosing schedules resulted in ICERs per QALY gained between €31 300 and €83 100, under the assumption of equal efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: From a health economic perspective, the addition of cetuximab to standard first-line chemotherapy in patients with epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing advanced NSCLC cannot be recommended to date, due to a high ICER compared with other health care interventions. Treatment schedules resulting in more favorable cost-utility ratios should be evaluated.