Economic Evaluation of Multiple Sclerosis in the UK, Germany and France
A cross-sectional cost-of-care study was performed to assess the economic burden of multiple sclerosis (MS) in France, Germany and the UK. Patients were stratified into 3 groups according to the Expanded Disability Severity Scale (EDSS): stages I, II and III, corresponding to mild (EDSS 1.0 to 3.5), moderate (EDSS 4.0 to 6.0) and severe (EDSS 6.5 to 8.0) MS, respectively. 90 patients with MS and 30 non-MS control patients were recruited in each country. Control patients were matched to the patients with MS on the basis of age and gender. Demographic, clinical and economic data during the 3-month period prior to entry were collected in patient interviews. Total costs included actual expenditures, such as direct medical and non-medical costs, as well as indirect costs. From the societal perspective, the total cost of MS for 3 months was estimated at $US1928, $US3941 and $US5678 in France, $US2772, $US2056 and $US5701 in Germany, and $US5125, $US6751 and $US14 622 in the UK, for stage I, II and III patients, respectively. The major medical cost driver in the UK was outpatient consultations, whereas hospitalisations were the major component in Germany and France. The major cost in the UK arose from the dependence of patients with MS on caregivers, which caused high non-medical, societal costs compared with France and Germany. From both the societal and health insurance perspectives in each country, costs for control patients were lower than those for stage I MS patients. MS represents a major financial burden on the individual, the family, health services and society, and these costs increase with MS progression.
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