Assessing the Cost of Lupus
If you have lupus, you don’t need a study to tell you that the disease is expensive. Even with the best health insurance, you’re likely spending thousands of dollars out of pocket each year for doctor visits, medications, and other health-related costs. And that doesn’t even count the cost to your work and income. A study at the ACR meeting describing data from 4 published analyses of costs in newly diagnosed or newly active patients with lupus found that the average cost per patient ranged from $13,735 to $27,531 a year compared to $7,794 to $9,788 in people without lupus. In patients with lupus nephritis, the costs were significantly higher, ranging from $29,034 to $62,651.xii
Most important, however, was that the researchers found little data on variations in costs based on disease severity, disease manifestations, and treatments. This is information that will become more important as the new biologic drugs enter the treatment arsenal. Although these drugs are more expensive than older therapies, if they can improve disease severity and reduce hospitalization and other direct medical costs, their overall costs may actually be lower than treatment with traditional therapies.
More information about lupus and treatment advances can be found by visiting www.lupusresearch.org.
The 2010 American College of Rheumatology Meeting Special Report was made possible in part by generous support from Biogen Idec, Genentech and Johnson & Johnson.
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i Bingham CO, et al. Citrullination and Peptidylarginine Deiminase (PAD) Expression Is Detected in the Oral Mucosa and Periodontium in the Absence of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
ii Scher JU, et al. Characteristic Oral and Intestinal Microbiota in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): A Trigger for Autoimmunity?
iii Merrill JT, et al. Five-Year Experience with Belimumab, a BLyS-Specific Inhibitor, in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
iv Vollenhoven RF, et al. Belimumab, a BLyS-Specific Inhibitor, Reduced Corticosteroid Use in Patients with Active SLE: Results from the Phase 3 BLISS-52 and -76 Studies.
v Petri MA, et al. Belimumab, a BLyS-Specific Inhibitor, Reduced Disease Activity, Flares, and Prednisone Use in Patients with Seropositive SLE: Combined Efficacy Results from the Phase 3 BLISS-52 and -76 Studies.
vi Chatham WW. Effect of Belimumab, a B-Lymphocyte Stimulator–Specific Inhibitor, on Functional Antibodies to Pneumococcal, Tetanus, and Influenza Vaccines.
vii Stohl W. Belimumab, a BLyS-Specific Inhibitor, Significantly Reduced Autoantibodies, Normalized Low Complement, and Reduced Selected B-Cell Populations in Patients with Seropositive Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): The Phase 3 BLISS Studies.
viii Wallace DJ, et al. Epratuzumab Demonstrates Clinically Meaningful Improvements in Patients with Moderate to Severe Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): Results from EMBLEM™, a Phase IIb Study.
ix Kalunian KC, et al. BILAG-Measured Improvement in Moderately and Severely Affected Body Systems in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) by Epratuzumab: Results from EMBLEM™, a Phase IIb Study.
x Sullivan BA, et al. A Flow Cytometric Receptor Occupancy Assay Demonstrates Dose-Dependent Blockade of B7RP-1 by AMG 557 on Circulating B Cells from SLE Subjects.
xi Fleischmann RM. Evidence of Peripheral B Cell Depletion in Subjects with Controlled Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Following Subcutaneous Administration of SBI-087.
xii Salwsky KA, et al. A Systematic Literature Review of the Direct Costs of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in the United States (US).
xiii McBurney CA. Platelet C4d Is Associated with All-Cause Mortality in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
xiv Bernatsky SR, et al. Further Defining Cancer Risk in Systemic Lupus: Updated Results in an Expanded International Multi-Centre Cohort
xv Hanly JG, Urowitz MB, Sanchez-Guerrero J, et al. Neuropsychiatric events at the time of diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus: an international inception cohort study. Arthritis Rheum. 2007;56(1):265-73.
xvi Izmirly PM, et al. Hydroxychloroquine and Prevention of Anti-SSA/Ro Associated Cardiac Disease in Mothers with a Previous Child with Neonatal Lupus