Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with onset in adults (age: 30-40 years). Irreversible functional disability occurs early, making MS the second most common cause of neurological disability in young adults. The World Health Organization described MS as one of the most socially costly disease, with an economic impact greater than Alzheimer's disease and stroke. The aim of this work was to analyze the costs of patients with MS in a hospital in Northern Italy (Fidenza Hospital, Parma).Methods:
Data were collected in a retrospective, prevalence-based, observational study, conducted from a societal perspective. Patients (N = 100) were recruited via Fidenza Hospital and asked to fill a detailed questionnaire, asking for details on disease characteristics (type of disease, level of functional disability) and on all medical and non-medical resource consumption, and work capacity (sick-leaves and early retirement).Results:
Respondents mean age was 51.49 years. Up to 20% of patients had severe disease (Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score ≥ 7), 51% moderate disease (EDSS score 4-6.5) and 29% mild disease (EDSS < 4). The mean EDSS score in the sample was 5. The annual mean cost estimated for each patient was €16,926.74, of which 42.34% related to productivity losses (indirect costs), 39.32% to non-health direct costs and 28.34% to health direct costs.Conclusions:
Results, consistent with those of other studies, showed that MS is a relevant economic burden as related indirect costs are high.