Prague, Czech Republic – Chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and psoriasis (Ps) are the types of diagnoses that lead to progressive disability and productivity loss. They are associated with significant costs to both the health care system and society, and therefore, productivity costs are generally considered to be extremely relevant.
A team of researchers from the Institute of Health Economics and Technology Assessment and the Institute of Rheumatology found that patients with chronic diseases (RA, AS, Ps) experience similar productivity loss and costs, which are predicted by patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and clinical parameters. In the study, “Work Productivity and Costs Related to Patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriasis,” the researchers sought out to determine and compare the impact of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis on work productivity, calculate the productivity costs, and map the factors that influence work productivity.
Patients with AS, RA and Ps reported more than 40% overall work productivity loss and daily activity impairments at a deterioration of 50%. In contrast to clinical parameters (DAS28, BSA, PASI), PROs (i.e. HAQ, BASDAI) were identified as major predictors of loss of productivity. The average annual loss of productivity cost per patient was estimated to be €2,000.
The authors point out that: “If a particular health care system (i.e., the Czech Republic health care system) opts to use other costs (the loss of productivity) and other outcomes (employability) in the reimbursement decision-making process, it is important that they adequately describe the burden of each particular health care problem with respect to productivity under Czech conditions, since productivity loss calculations are country-specific with limited transferability. This approach would be able to clearly describe the appropriate and comprehensive effect of treatment and intervention. The first step towards this goal should involve active data collection on the quality of life, functional disability, and the effect on productivity.”
Those individuals interested in more information on this topic may wish to read research by Klára Kruntorádová, MSc, a health economic analyst at the Institute of Health Economic and Technology Assessment in Prague and lead researcher of this study.