The introduction of anti tumor necrosis factor-α (anti-TNFα) therapy might impact healthcare expenditures, but there are limited data regarding the costs of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) following the introduction of these drugs.
Dr Bas Oldenburg and colleagues from the Netherlands assessed the healthcare costs and productivity losses in a large cohort of IBD patients.
Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) patients from 7 university hospitals and 7 general hospitals were invited to fill-out a web-based questionnaire.
Cost items were derived from a 3 month follow-up questionnaire and categorized in outpatient clinic, diagnostics, medication, surgery and hospitalization.
Productivity losses included sick leave of paid and unpaid work.
The team expressed costs as mean 3-month costs per patients with a 95% CI obtained using non-parametric bootstrapping.
|Anti-TNFα use accounted for 64% of the total cost in CD|
A total of 1315 CD patients and 937 UC patients were included.
The research team found that healthcare costs were almost 3 times higher in CD as compared with UC, €1625 versus €595, respectively.
Anti-TNFα use was the main costs driver, accounting for 64% and 31% of the total cost in CD and UC.
The team observed that hospitalization and surgery together accounted for 19% and <1% of the healthcare costs in CD and 23% and 1% in UC, respectively.
The researchers noted that productivity losses accounted for 16% and 39% of the total costs in CD and UC.
Dr Oldenburg's team concludes, "We showed that healthcare costs are mainly driven by medication costs, most importantly by anti-TNFα therapy."
"Hospitalization and surgery accounted only for a minor part of the healthcare costs."