Cost of illness in patients with multiple myeloma in Italy: the CoMiM study

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Aims and background.

Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematological cancer. Although it accounts for only a relatively small percentage of all cancer types, the costs associated with managing multiple myeloma are considerable. Available studies are mainly focused on health care costs. The Costo del Mieloma Multiplo (Cost of MM, CoMiM) study investigated the cost of illness of multiple myeloma in Italy during one year of disease management.


CoMiM is a retrospective, prevalence-based, multi-center, cross-sectional study based on a stratified sample of patients seen during normal clinical practice (asymptomatic; symptomatic on drugs; symptomatic receiving autologous stem cell transplantation; plateau/remission). Demographics, clinical history, health care and non-health care resource consumption data were collected. Costs were evaluated from the societal viewpoint and expressed in Euro 2008.


Data on 236 patients were analyzed (39 asymptomatic, 17%; 29 symptomatic receiving autologous stem-cell transplantation, 12%; 105 symptomatic receiving drugs, 44%; 63 plateau/remission, 27%). The total cost of illness reached € 19,267.1 ± 25,078.6 (asymptomatic, € 959.3 ± 1091.6; symptomatic receiving drugs, € 21,707.8 ± 21,785.3; symptomatic receiving autologous stem-cell transplantation, € 59,243.7 ± 24,214.0; plateau/remission, € 8130.7 ± 15,092.5). The main cost drivers of total cost of illness were drugs and hospital admissions (46.1% and 29.4%, respectively). Antineoplastics and immunomodulators drove the cost of drugs (21.6% and 21.1% of the total cost of illness). Cost of antineoplastics was led by bortezomib (97.4%), whereas the cost driver for immunomodulators was lenalidomide (99.4%). Cost of hospitalization funded by the Italian National Health Service was strongly influenced by transplantation (94.6%), whereas chemotherapy and skeletal fractures did not exceed 1% and 2%, respectively.


Despite some limitations, the CoMiM study provides Italian health care decision-makers with an insight into the stratified cost of illness of multiple myeloma patients.

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