The Epidemiology, Treatment Patterns and Economic Burden of Different Phenotypes of Multiple Sclerosis in Italy: Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis and Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Clin Epidemiol. 2022 Nov 6:14:1327-1337. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S376005. eCollection 2022.


Purpose: A retrospective analysis of real-world data was performed to assess the epidemiology and economic burden of multiple sclerosis (MS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) in Italy.

Patients and methods: An observational study on administrative databases from a sample of Italian entities was carried-out. Between 01/2010-12/2017, patients with ≥1 MS diagnosis code (ICD-9-CM:340 and/or exemption code:046) and/or ≥1 disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) prescription, were included. Among MS-cohort, SPMS patients were identified by ≥2 hospitalizations or by ≥2 drug prescriptions related to MS progression. MS patients not fulfilling SPMS criteria were included as RRMS. Mean annual healthcare costs were reported during follow-up and stratified by DMT treatment/untreatment.

Results: Overall, 9543 MS patients were included; 8397 with RRMS and 1146 with SPMS. Estimated prevalence of MS was 141.6/100,000 inhabitants (RRMS 124.4/100,000 and SPMS 17.2/100,000). Mean annual cost for untreated and treated patient was respectively: €3638 and €11796 (MS-cohort), €3183 and €11486 (RRMS-cohort), €6317 and €15511 (SPMS-cohort). The first-line DMT treatment duration averaged 27.4 ± 22.8 months; the mean cost was 19004€ for the whole period. The second-line DMT treatment lasted on average 31.1 ± 24.5 months; the mean cost was 47293€ for the whole period.

Conclusion: This study provided insights into the MS epidemiology in Italy and its economic burden. Healthcare costs associated with MS management were mainly driven by DMTs expenditure. A trend of higher healthcare-resource consumption was observed among SPMS-cohort.

Keywords: clinical practice; epidemiology; healthcare resource consumption; multiple sclerosis; real-world evidence.