2017. Kobelt G et al. – New insights into the burden and costs of multiple sclerosis in Europe


Kobelt G, Thompson A, Berg J, Gannedahl M, Eriksson J; the MSCOI Study Group and the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform. New insights into the burden and costs of multiple sclerosis in Europe. Mult Scler. 2017;23(8):1123-36.


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BACKGROUND: The current focus in multiple sclerosis (MS) is on early diagnosis and drug intervention, with a view to modifying disease progression. Consequently, healthcare costs have shifted from inpatient care and rehabilitation to outpatient care.

OBJECTIVES: This European burden of illness study provides data that can be combined with other evidence to assess whether management approaches provide value to society.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 16 countries. Patients reported on their disease, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and resource consumption. Descriptive analyses were performed by disease severity. Costs are reported from a societal perspective in 2015€ PPP (adjusted for purchasing power parity).

RESULTS: The 16,808 participants had a mean age of 51.5 years, and 52% had relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Work capacity declined from 82% to 8%, and utility declined from normal population values to less than zero with advancing disease. Mean costs were 22,800€ PPP in mild, 37,100€ PPP in moderate and 57,500€ PPP in severe disease; healthcare accounted for 68%, 47% and 26%, respectively. Fatigue and cognitive difficulties were reported by 95% and 71% of participants, respectively; both had a significant independent effect on utility.

CONCLUSION: Costs and utility were highly correlated with disease severity, but resource consumption was heavily influenced by healthcare systems organisation and availability of services.