New insights into the burden and costs of multiple sclerosis in Europe: Results for the Netherlands

Mult Scler. 2017 Aug;23(2_suppl):117-129. doi: 10.1177/1352458517708663.


Introduction: To estimate the value of interventions in multiple sclerosis (MS) - where lifetime costs and outcomes cannot be observed - outcome data have to be combined with costs. This requires that cost data be regularly updated.

Objectives and methods: This study is part of a cross-sectional retrospective study in 16 countries collecting data on resource consumption and work capacity, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and prevalent symptoms for patients with MS. Descriptive analyses are presented by level of severity, from the societal perspective, in EUR 2015.

Results: A total of 382 patients (mean age: 54 years) participated in the Netherlands; 81% were below retirement age and of these, 31% were employed. Employment was inversely related to disease severity, and MS affected productivity at work for 82% of patients. Overall, 96% and 73% of patients experienced fatigue and cognitive difficulties, respectively, as a problem. Mean utility and annual costs were 0.744 and €23,100 at Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 0-3, 0.595 and €32,300 at EDSS 4-6.5, and 0.297 and €50,500 at EDSS 7-9. The mean cost of a relapse was estimated at €3000.

Conclusion: This study provides current data on MS in the Netherlands that are important for the development of health policies and to estimate the value of current and future treatments.

Keywords: HRQoL; Multiple sclerosis; Netherlands; burden of illness; cognition; costs; fatigue.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Efficiency
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / economics
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / epidemiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / therapy
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index