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Health-resource use and costs associated with fibromyalgia in France, Germany, and the United States

Authors Knight T, Schaefer C, Chandran A, Zlateva G, Winkelmann A, Perrot S

Received 4 December 2012

Accepted for publication 4 February 2013

Published 23 April 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 171—180


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Tyler Knight,1 Caroline Schaefer,1 Arthi Chandran,2 Gergana Zlateva,2 Andreas Winkelmann,3 Serge Perrot4

1Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Covance Market Access Services, Gaithersburg, MD, USA; 2Primary Care Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Pfizer Global Health Economics, New York, NY, USA; 3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany; 4Service de Médecine Interne et Thérapeutique, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France

Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread, persistent pain. Prospective and retrospective studies have demonstrated substantial health-care costs associated with FM in a number of countries. This study evaluated and compared health-resource use (HRU) and associated costs related to FM in routine clinical practice across the US, France, and Germany.
Methods: Two separate, cross-sectional, observational studies of subjects with FM were conducted: one in the US and one in France and Germany. HRU related to prescription medication, physician office visits, diagnostic tests, and hospitalizations was abstracted from chart review; patient out-of-pocket costs and lost productivity were collected via subject self-report. Costs were assigned to HRU based on standard algorithms. Direct and indirect costs were evaluated and compared by simple linear regression.
Results: A total of 442 subjects (203 US, 70 France, 169 Germany) with FM were analyzed. The mean (standard deviation) age in the US, France, and Germany was 47.9 (10.9), 51.2 (9.5), and 49.2 (9.8), respectively (P = 0.085). Most subjects were female (95% US, 83% France, 80% Germany) (P < 0.001). Adjusted annual direct costs per subject for FM were significantly higher in the US ($7087) than in France ($481, P < 0.001) or Germany ($2417, P < 0.001). Adjusted mean annual indirect costs per subject for FM were lower in the US ($6431) than in France ($8718) or Germany ($10,001), but represented a significant proportion of total costs in all countries.
Conclusion: The significant HRU and costs associated with FM in the US, France, and Germany documented in this study highlight the substantial global economic burden of FM. Indirect costs represented a significant proportion of the total costs, particularly in Europe. Comparisons between the three countries show differences in HRU, with significantly higher direct costs in the US compared with France and Germany.

Keywords: fibromyalgia, cost, burden of illness, United States, France, Germany

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