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Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Dec;8(6):585-9.

Economic studies of immunotherapy: a review.

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  • 1University of Padova, Padova, Italy.



To analyse and discuss the growing body of evidence on the economic advantages offered by immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis and asthma, in the various perspectives (society, national healthcare system, patients, etc) and according to the various types of standardized economic evaluations.


This review shows that the economic studies of allergic rhinitis and asthma focus on three main research areas: studies aimed at determining the cost of illness and studies focused either on a simple cost comparison amongst available therapeutic alternatives, or directly comparing alternatives using full economic evaluations (cost-effectiveness, cost-utility measures, etc).


Studies exploring the full cost of allergic rhinitis and asthma are still lacking; on the contrary, studies on immunotherapy (in its many administration forms, subcutaneous, sublingual, tablet, etc) in comparison with standard pharmaceutical treatment, have shown that immunotherapy may be very beneficial to the healthcare systems, in that either it could bring more clinical outcome at a reduced cost, versus standard therapy alone, or it could bring extra benefit at a very acceptable extra cost. This is even more correct under the societal perspective, that is, when indirect costs of lost productivity are considered and included in the economic analysis.

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