Trends in the use of anticancer therapy for the treatment of relapsed or refractory chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) show an increase in the use of oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) among Medicare beneficiaries, as well as a shift toward newer drugs in this class, according to data published in conjunction with the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Researchers evaluated real-world patterns in the treatment of relapsed/refractory CML among Medicare beneficiaries during 2017-2019 and retrospectively analyzed Medicare Part D Drug Event Files for beneficiaries enrolled in Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage plans.

During the study period, 327 Medicare beneficiaries with diagnosed relapsed/refractory CML were prescribed an oral TKI: bosutinib, dasatinib, nilotinib, ponatinib, or imatinib.

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From 2017 to 2019, the number of beneficiaries prescribed at least 1 oral TKI increased from 154 beneficiaries to 212 beneficiaries.

The researchers noted that total use of these drugs also increased. In 2017 there were 210 prescription drug claims, and that increased to 296 in 2019.

Throughout the study period, imatinib had the largest market share, as the percentage of claims, among all of the oral TKIs; however, its market share did decrease from 2017 (35.7%) to 2019 (30.7%).

In contrast, nilotinib’s market share increased from 15.7% in 2017 to 20.9% in 2019.

The researchers noted that “given the high cost for these novel therapies, future research should examine trends in patient out-of-pocket spending, as well as factors impacting patient adherence.”

Disclosure: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


McBride K, Snyder S. Trends in Medicare oral anticancer drug utilization among relapsed and refractory chronic myeloid leukemia patients. J Clin Oncol. 2022;40(suppl 16). The American Society of Clinical Oncology abstract e19058. doi:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.e19058