Objective: To perform a cost-identification and cost-effectiveness analysis comparing oral corticosteroids (OCS) with high-dose intermittent intravenous corticosteroid (IVCS) regimens in the treatment of juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM).
Methods: Children previously diagnosed and treated for JDM (without myositis-specific or myositis-associated autoantibodies) at a single medical center by a single provider were identified. Two treatment protocols were compared: OCS and IVCS. Data on initial disease severity, time to remission, resource use, and costs generated were collected from patient records. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICE) were constructed.
Results: Patients treated with IVCS achieved median remission 2 years earlier at median increased cost of $13,736. The ICE ratio comparing IVCS to OCS is $6,868 per year of disease avoided.
Conclusion: This study suggests that, although IVCS treatments are costly, they are cost-effective.