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J Med Econ. 2018 May;21(5):425-437. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2018.1427100. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

Societal costs of multiple sclerosis in Ireland.

Author information

1
a University College Dublin , Dublin , Ireland.
2
b Novartis Ireland , Dublin , Ireland.
3
c Multiple Sclerosis Ireland , Dublin , Ireland.
4
d St. Vincent's University Hospital , Dublin , Ireland.
5
e Mater Hospital , Dublin , Ireland.

Abstract

AIMS:

This paper evaluates the impact of multiple sclerosis (MS) in Ireland, and estimates the associated direct, indirect, and intangible costs to society based on a large nationally representative sample.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A questionnaire was developed to capture the demographics, disease characteristics, healthcare use, informal care, employment, and wellbeing. Referencing international studies, standardized survey instruments were included (e.g. CSRI, MFIS-5, EQ-5D) or adapted (EDSS) for inclusion in an online survey platform. Recruitment was directed at people with MS via the MS Society mailing list and social media platforms, as well as in traditional media. The economic costing was primarily conducted using a 'bottom-up' methodology, and national estimates were achieved using 'prevalence-based' extrapolation.

RESULTS:

A total of 594 people completed the survey in full. The sample had geographic, disease, and demographic characteristics indicating good representativeness. At an individual level, average societal cost was estimated at €47,683; the average annual costs for those with mild, moderate, and severe MS were calculated as €34,942, €57,857, and €100,554, respectively. For a total Irish MS population of 9,000, the total societal costs of MS amounted to €429m. Direct costs accounted for just 30% of the total societal costs, indirect costs amounted to 50% of the total, and intangible or QoL costs represented 20%. The societal cost associated with a relapse in the sample is estimated as €2,438.

LIMITATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS:

The findings highlight that up to 70% of the total costs associated with MS are not routinely counted. These "hidden" costs are higher in Ireland than the rest of Europe, due in part to significantly lower levels of workforce participation, a higher likelihood of permanent workforce withdrawal, and higher levels of informal care needs. The relationship between disease progression and costs emphasize the societal importance of managing and slowing the progression of the illness.

KEYWORDS:

Cost of illness study; Ireland; epidemiology; indirect costs; intangible costs; internet-based recruitment; multiple sclerosis; survey design

PMID:
29320900
DOI:
10.1080/13696998.2018.1427100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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