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Cost of illness of urothelial bladder cancer in Italy

Authors Gerace C, Montorsi F, Tambaro R, Cartenì G, De Luca S, Tucci M, Martorana G, Basso U, Cardosi L, Teruzzi C

Received 18 February 2017

Accepted for publication 31 May 2017

Published 24 July 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 433—442

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CEOR.S135065

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Dean Smith

Claudio Gerace,1 Francesco Montorsi,2 Rosa Tambaro,3 Giacomo Cartenì,4 Stefano De Luca,5 Marcello Tucci,6 Giuseppe Martorana,7 Umberto Basso,8 Leonardo Cardosi,1 Cristina Teruzzi1

1Temas s.r.l.-QuintilesIMS, Integrated Market Access Department, 2Department of Urology, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milano, Italy; 3Department of Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fondazione Pascale, Napoli, Italy; 4A.O.R.N. A. Cardarelli, Unità Operativa Complessa di Oncologia Medica, Napoli, Italy; 5Department of Urology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Luigi Gonzaga, Orbassano, Torino Italy; 6Department of Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Luigi Gonzaga, Orbassano, Torino Italy; 7Department of Urology, Ospedale Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy; 8Department of Clinical and Experimental Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IRCCS, Padova, Italy


Background: Urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) is the ninth most common cancer worldwide. In Italy, the prevalence of the disease is approximately 10%, making it the fourth most prevalent cancer in the country. The increase in prevalence requires continuous surveillance and care, resulting in a significant burden on Italian National Health Service, making any improvement to the strategy for diagnosing and treating this disease important to the medical and scientific community. The aim of this study was to evaluate the UBC cost of illness in the Italian context, collecting the total costs of the disease.
Methods: An economic analysis was carried out in the context of the National Health Service, using data collected from six centers, in order to evaluate direct costs in terms of outpatient, inpatient, and emergency care; pharmaceuticals and follow-up procedures; and indirect costs in terms of productivity losses. Data were collected through aggregated form reports, focusing on patients with an existing diagnosis of UBC who were treated in the last year. The Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) guidelines were used to identify diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Statistical analysis was conducted to explore variations among centers.
Results: The weighted mean total annual cost per patient was € 3,591, where the cost for superficial disease was € 3,252 and that for metastatic disease was € 606. The analysis confirmed a proportional relation between disease severity and disability grade. The UBC cost of illness, considering prevalence and incidence data coming from the 2016 AIOM/Italian Association of Cancer Registries report, was € 1,187,036,344. Indirect costs accounted to 44%, represented by estimated productivity losses.
Conclusion: Our analysis represents the first economic study of UBC in the Italian context, as well as the first real-life evidence of the current therapeutic algorithm. This study opens the possibility for further analysis on the indirect cost components that represent a great burden for the society, especially for those in the severest stages of the disease with high disability grades.

Keywords: cost of illness, cost analysis, economic evaluation, urothelial bladder cancer, direct costs, indirect costs

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