Cost of illness in rheumatoid arthritis in Germany in 1997-98 and 2002: cost drivers and cost savings

Timm Kirchhoff, Jörg Ruof, Thomas Mittendorf, Markus Rihl, Michael Bernateck, Wilfried Mau, Henning Zeidler, Reinhold E Schmidt, Sonja Merkesdal
Rheumatology 2011, 50 (4): 756-61

OBJECTIVE: Comparison of overall RA-related costs and of relative contribution of single-cost domains before and after the introduction of TNF-blocking agents in Germany.

METHODS: Two cohorts of RA outpatients (ACR '87 criteria) with long-standing disease are assessed in terms of disease-related costs and cost composition (n = 106 patients in 1997-98 and n = 180 patients in 2002 with similar patient characteristics). Full-cost analyses are performed including direct disease-related costs (medical and non-medical) and productivity costs as collected by patient questionnaires. Absolute costs (€/patient/year) are compared and the impact of single-cost domains on overall costing in RA is estimated (relative proportions of cost components within samples).

RESULTS: Overall costs are comparable (1997-98: €4280; 2002: €3830; not significant). Differences can be observed in medication (1997-98: €550; 2002: €1580; P < 0.001) and hospitalization costs (1997-98: €1240; 2002: €500; P < 0.001). Productivity costs are significantly lower (€1480 vs €850; P < 0.05) in 2002. The impact of medication costs is outstanding in the 2002 sample (42 vs 12%), the proportion of hospitalization costs is substantially lower (29 vs 13%). Costs for DMARDs in 2002 are mostly driven by TNF blockers (37%). The number of DMARDs per patient is higher in 2002 as are costs for osteoporosis medication and gastroprotective treatment.

CONCLUSION: Although overall costs before and after the introduction of TNF blockers are comparable, the decrease in hospitalization and productivity costs is promising in terms of future long-term cost savings. The development of these aspects and of the increasing medication costs will have to be evaluated with longer time frames.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"