Costs of the standard rheumatology care in active rheumatoid arthritis patients seen in a tertiary care center in Mexico City
HERNÁNDEZ-CRUZ B, ARIZA-ARIZA R, CARDIEL-RÍOS MH
Reumatología Clínica 2006;2(3): 124-131
Resumen del Autor:
Objective: To assess the costs of standard care in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) seen in a tertiary care center in México City in the context of a clinical trial. To analyze the relationship between costs and utility units obtained by the patients in this scenario. Patients and methods: This economic evaluation was performed during a clinical trial with a 48-week follow-up in a tertiary care center in México City. The trial compared the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids versus placebo in patients with active RA who also received standard rheumatology care. The costs of medical consultations, complementary tests and drugs were assessed. Other direct costs were also measured. Hypothetical scenarios with fewer medical consultations and complementary tests than those in the clinical trial were also analyzed. Utilities were assessed by the Health Utility Index. A cost-utility ratio was calculated using the baseline utilities score as comparator. A descriptive statistical
analysis was performed. Results: Ninety RA patients (83 women [92%], age [X ± SD] 43.2 ± 14.2 years with disease duration of 3.3 ± 4.6 years) were included. Data from 88 patients were analyzed. The total direct costs were 152,704.11 US$ 2005 divided into medical attention (78,386.43 US$ 2005, 51.33%), drugs (39,339.5 US$ 2005, 25.76%) and other direct costs (34,978.18 US$ 2005. 22.91%). In scenarios with fewer medical consultations and complementary tests than those in the clinical trial, the total direct costs ranged from 39,507.4 to 103,880.6 US$ 2005. Patients improved by a mean of 0.18 utility units on a 0-1 scale equivalent to 0.18 quality adjusted life-years (QALYs). The cost-utility ratios ranged from 2,494.1 to 9,640.38 US$ 2005 per QALY in the scenarios analyzed. Conclusions: The direct costs of the standard care of RA in the scenarios analyzed are substantial in the social and economic context of Mexico. The cost per gained QALY is high.
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