Epub: Palmer et al. The economic impact of multiple sclerosis in Australia in 2010. Mult Scler. 2013 May.
BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) has a major impact on health and is a substantial burden on patients and society. We estimated the annual costs of MS in Australia from individual and societal perspectives using data from the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (AMSLS) and prevalence figures from 2010.
METHODS: Direct and indirect costs were estimated from a subsample of 712 AMSLS subjects who completed baseline and follow-up economic impact surveys. All costs are in 2010 Australian dollars (AUD).
RESULTS: Annual costs per person with MS were AUD48,945 (95% CI: 45,138 to 52,752). Total costs were AUD1.042 (0.9707 to 1.1227) billion based on a prevalence of 21,283. The largest component was indirect costs due to loss of productivity (48%). Costs increased with increasing disability: AUD36,369, AUD58,890 and AUD65,305 per patient per year for mild, moderate and severe disability, respectively. Total costs of MS to Australian society have increased 58% between 2005 and 2010.
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that MS imposes a substantial burden on Australian society, particularly impacting on productivity. The burden increases with worsening disability associated with the disease. Investment in interventions that slow progression, as well as resources, services and environments that assist people with MS to retain employment, is supported.