Research The Costs of MS

Coleman CI, Sidovar MF, Roberts MS, Kohn C. Impact of mobility impairment on indirect costs and health-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54756. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054756.

This study was conducted to estimate the indirect costs and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) (utilities) of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in the United States (US), and to determine the impact of worsening mobility on these parameters. In collaboration with the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) registry we conducted a cross-sectional study of participants who completed the biannual update and supplemental spring 2010 survey. Demographic, employment status, income, mobility impairment, and health utility data were collected from a sample of registry participants who met the study criteria and agreed to participate in the supplemental Mobility Study. Mean annual indirect costs per participant in 2011US$ and mean utilities for the population and for cohorts reporting different levels of mobility impairment were estimated. Analyses included 3,484 to 3,611 participants, based on survey completeness. Thirty-seven percent of registrants were not working or attending school and 46.7% of these reported retiring early. Indirect costs per participant per year, not including informal caregiver cost, were estimated at $30,601±31,184. The largest relative increase in indirect costs occurred at earlier mobility impairment stages, regardless of the measure used. Participants’ mean utility score (0.73±0.18) was lower than that of a similarly aged sample from the general US population (0.87). As with indirect costs, larger decrements in utility were seen at earlier mobility impairment stages. These results suggest that mobility impairment may contribute to increases in indirect costs and declines in HRQoL in MS patients.

When will the regulators take into account there is a lot more to the cost of MS than just the cost of the DMTs that people take. This study from the US will no doubt be of interest to our US readers.

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  • In 2008 Dr Paul McCrone of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, published a report on the cost of MS to the UK economy, at that time the figure was £1.4 billion pound a year. Must be considerably more now, especially as the number of people suffering from MS in this country is grossly underestimated.

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