A new study demonstrates that non-clinical benefits including productivity and "peace of mind" provide value to society for chronic progressive diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), a debilitating neurological disease in which patients experience fatigue, pain, and mobility and sensory problems. Though no cure for MS currently exists, a number of therapies are available to help manage the symptoms and slow the disease's progression. The study, recently published in the
The broader perspective of consumers matters. The cost of covering MS drugs is borne primarily by consumers who do not have MS, but pay insurance premiums and taxes that finance coverage. However, all healthcare consumers also benefit from MS treatments that reduce direct medical costs (e.g., for hospitalizations), increase workplace productivity and income, and provide "peace of mind" for the population at risk of MS because there is technology available to slow or delay its progression. When decisions about health insurance coverage policies are based on value, this has important implications for beneficiaries who are paying for insurance. Past estimates of treatment value only accounted for the direct medical benefits generated for sick individuals. This approach has ignored the indirect benefits for patients and the overall benefits for healthy individuals, and may have underestimated MS therapies' value to society, according to the authors.
"The real question in healthcare is whether members of society are getting what they pay for. Our study suggests that, from the perspective of the entire population, MS drugs are much more valuable than previously thought," said lead author Dr.
The study's approach is based on the notion that medical technology provides broader benefits, including those to healthy individuals by ensuring that if they become sick in the future, treatments will be available to ease the burden of disease. The authors used validated economic models to quantify the value to both the sick and the healthy of three therapies for MS for two scenarios. In the first, the authors assumed that the sick pay the full cost of treatment cost. In the second scenario, all individuals are covered under actuarially
In the first scenario, the authors estimated that those with MS gained
Financial support for the study was provided by the
For the full article, see here: http://www.ajmc.com/journals/issue/2016/2016-vol22-n11/Reconsidering-the-Economic-Value-of-Multiple-Sclerosis-Therapies
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SOURCE Precision Health Economics