Higher Costs, Lower Quality of Life Associated with Increased Disability in MS

Patients with multiple sclerosis incur higher costs and experience lower health-related quality of life as their disability increases

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) incur higher costs and experience lower health-related quality of life as their disability increases, according to study findings.

Due to the early onset of MS, people are often affected during working ages, impacting not only direct costs, such as healthcare and medication, but indirect costs as well, such as productivity loss. Due to pain and both direct and indirect costs, quality of life also suffers.

However, according to the study researchers, “important developments have occurred in the treatment of MS since the mid-1990s and onwards, potentially changing both the costs and health outcomes among people with MS since previous estimates.”

For updated estimates, the researchers linked 2013 microdata from Swedish nationwide registers on patients with MS aged 21 to 64 years. They collected data on direct costs—prescription drug use and specialized healthcare—and indirect costs—sick leave and disability pension. They also compiled data on health-related quality of life from the registries. Disability levels were measured on a scale from 0 to 10.

The researchers noted that nonmedical costs such as personal assistance and informal care, which are often high among patients with MS, were not captured in this data.

Click to continue reading on The American Journal of Managed Care.