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Cost of care according to disease-modifying therapy in Mexicans with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Abstract

Limited data exist on the costs of care of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in low- to middle-income nations. The purpose of this study was to describe the economic burden associated with care of Mexican patients with relapsing-remitting MS in a representative sample of the largest institution of the Mexican public healthcare system. We analysed individual data of 492 patients (67 % women) with relapsing-remitting MS registered from January 2009 to February 2011 at the Mexican Social Security Institute. Direct costs were measured about the use of diagnostic tests, disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), symptoms control, medical consultations, relapses, intensive care and rehabilitation. Four groups were defined according to DMT alternatives: (1) interferon beta (IFNβ)-1a, 6 million units (MU); (2) IFNβ-1a, 12MU; (3) IFNβ-1b, 8MU; and (4) glatiramer acetate. All patients received DMTs for at least 1 year. The most frequently used DMT was glatiramer acetate (45.5 %), followed by IFNβ-1a 12MU (22.6 %), IFNβ-1b 8MU (20.7 %), and IFNβ-1a 6MU (11.2 %). The mean cost of a specialised medical consultation was €74.90 (US $107.00). A single relapse had a mean total cost of €2,505.97 (US $3,579.96). No differences were found in annualised relapse rates and costs of relapses according to DMT. However, a significant difference was observed in total annual costs according to treatment groups (glatiramer acetate being the most expensive), mainly due to differences in unitary costs of alternatives. From the public institutional perspective, when equipotent DMTs are used in patients with comparable characteristics, the costs of DMTs largely determine the total expenses associated with care of patients with relapsing-remitting MS in a middle-income country.

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Acknowledgments

This study received financial support by Novartis, Mexico. The company was involved in study design and analysis, but had no role in the selection of patients, data capture, assignations of costs or resources use, the final approval of this article or the decision for submission to publication.

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Correspondence to Miguel A. Macías-Islas.

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Macías-Islas, M.A., Soria-Cedillo, I.F., Velazquez-Quintana, M. et al. Cost of care according to disease-modifying therapy in Mexicans with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol Belg 113, 415–420 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13760-013-0200-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13760-013-0200-z

Keywords

  • Costs of care
  • Glatiramer acetate
  • Healthcare
  • Interferon
  • Multiple sclerosis