The socioeconomic burden of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

Promising genetic therapies are being investigated in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). However, the current cost of illness is largely unknown.This study aimed at determining the socioeconomic burden of FSHD.Adult patients with FSHD from the Dutch FSHD registry were invited to complete a questionnaire on medical consumption, work productivity and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) using the EQ-5D-5L. Associated costs were calculated from a societal perspective. A generalized linear model was fitted to the data to investigate whether level of mobility was related to annual costs of illness.172 patients with FSHD completed the questionnaire (response rate 65%). The per-patient annual direct medical costs of FSHD were estimated at €12,077, direct non-medical costs at €9179 and indirect costs at €5066, adding up to a total cost of illness of €26,322 per patient per year. The direct costs of illness were €21,256, approximately five times higher than the mean per-capita health expenditures in the Netherlands. Major cost-driving factors were formal home care and informal care. A decreased level of mobility was associated with higher direct costs of illness. HR-QoL was significantly reduced in patients with FSHD with a median health utility value of 0.63.We show that FSHD is associated with substantial direct and indirect socioeconomic costs as well as a reduction in HR-QoL. These findings are important for health care decision makers and aids in allocation of research funds and evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of novel therapies.

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Authors: Anna M Blokhuis, Johanna C W Deenen, Nicol C Voermans, Baziel G M van Engelen, Wietske Kievit, Jan T Groothuis