The cost of (Italian) MS

Ponzio M, Gerzeli S, Brichetto G, Bezzini D, Mancardi GL, Zaratin P, Battaglia MA. Economic impact of multiple sclerosis in Italy: focus on rehabilitation costs. Neurol Sci. 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

The study estimates the cost of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Italy quantifying the impact of the rehabilitation on cost of illness. Patients with MS were enrolled at MS clinical centres, in rehabilitation units and among members with MS of the Italian MS Society across the Italy. The MS costs were captured with a questionnaire and were estimated taking into account both healthcare and non-healthcare costs as well as the productivity losses. Mean total annual costs per patients were €37,948, increasing for different disease severity: from €22,750 at an EDSS score of 0-3 to €63,047 at an EDSS score equal to or more than 7. €3,418 was due to rehabilitation (about 26.7 % of direct healthcare costs) and of these 44 % was attributable to admission to rehabilitation. Analysis showed a consistent trend toward increased total cost with progressive severity of MS, with presence of relapses, while the total cost decreases with a better quality of life. The burden increases as the MS becomes more severe and with relapse occurrence, moreover we observed high costs due to admission to rehabilitation suggesting that different rehabilitation setting might be considered to reduce the financial burden and increase the quality of life for person with MS.

Although the cost may vary from country to country…what is clear is that as MS progresses the cost increases. Therefore, whilst some DMT may cost a fortune……the high initial cost could save in the long-term if it slows the development of progression. 
Can the country afford to do this? 
Can it afford not to do this

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  • Since when have governments taken the long view about issues like this? Viz: changes to DLA, ESA and the rest….

  • They didn't need to do a study for this conclusion. Just look at the cost of the DMTs, their price reflects the economic burden of the disease. Pharma has already performed economic impact studies to set the price. Rituximab (chimeric) used to treat CML and its projected cost for MS (before it was scrapped due to patent expiration, enter stage left ocrelizumab (humanized)) are different. " Analysis showed a consistent trend toward increased total cost with progressive severity of MS…" now that's quite a revelation:-)

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