Objective: To perform a comparative long-term analysis of the associated healthcare costs for the therapeutic options in advanced Parkinson's Disease (PD): deep brain stimulation (DBS), continuous duodenal levodopa-carbidopa infusion (CDLCI), and continuous subcutaneous apomorphine infusion (CSAI).
Methods: Resource use associated with the pre-treatment period, procedure, and follow-up was assessed for the three therapies from the perspective of the Spanish national healthcare system. Resources consumption was measured with a Healthcare Resources Questionnaire (at nine advanced PD centres). Unit costs (Euro-Spain 2010) were applied to measure resource use to obtain the average total cost for each therapy over 5 years.
Results: Mean cumulative 5-year cost per patient was significantly lower with DBS (€88,014) vs CSAI (€141,393) and CDLCI (€233,986) (p < 0.0001). DBS was associated with the lowest cumulative costs from year 2, with a yearly average cost of €17,603 vs €46,797 for CDLCI (p = 0.001) and €28,279 for CSAI (p = 0.008). For every patient treated annually with CDLCI, two could be treated with DBS (or €29,194 could be saved) and for every patient treated with CSAI, €10,676 could be saved with DBS. The initial DBS investment (32.2% of the total 5-year costs) was offset by decreases in anti-Parkinsonian drugs and follow-up costs. CDLCI and CSAI required constant drug use (i.e., levodopa and carbidopa for CDLCI, apomorphine for CSAI), representing ∼95% of their total 5-year cost.
Limitations: All costs were based on a questionnaire, not on actual clinical data. The study is not a cost-effectiveness analysis as there is a lack of comparable outcomes data. An expert panel was used due to the complexity and variability in the treatment of advanced PD. The sample size was relatively small.
Conclusions: Overall, DBS requires less use of health resources than CDLCI or CSAI in advanced PD patients, mostly pharmacological. The initial DBS investment was offset at year 2 by reductions in the ongoing consumption of anti-Parkinsonian medication. For every patient treated annually with CDLCI or CSAI, substantial cost savings could be made with DBS.