Economic burden of multiple sclerosis in Slovakia - from 2015 to 2020

BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Dec 2;22(1):1467. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-08883-6.


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, commonly diagnosed during young adulthood. The proportion of direct and indirect costs of MS vary across settings. The International Multiple Sclerosis Study, involving 1152 patients with MS from 19 countries, reported the average annual costs per patient to be €41,212, with direct medical costs of €21,093, direct non-medical costs of €2110, and €16,318 marked as indirect costs. However, there are no precise data on the economic burden of MS in Slovakia. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to assess the economic impact of MS in Slovakia by identifying and measuring the direct medical costs and indirect costs of this disease.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective prevalence-based cost-of-illness analysis for MS in Slovakia sourced from the third-party payer and societal perspective. Patient co-payments and out-of-pocket expenses were not included in our study. We analysed all available costs and healthcare resources utilised in a 6-years period, from 2015 to 2020. For each year, all costs (in euro) were specified as total and the average annual cost per patient.

Results: The estimated total economic burden of MS in Slovakia in 2020 was €57,347,523, with direct medical costs estimated to be €53,348,337 and indirect costs standing at €3,999,186. The total annual cost per patient in 2020 was €6682. Over the 6 years, the total diagnostic and treatment cost of patients with MS was estimated to be €283,974,236. With an average year-by-year increase of 5%, the total direct costs of MS had significantly grown during the examined 6 years. The total cost due to the MS-associated loss of productivity in these 6 years was €16,633,798. The average year-by-year increase of indirect costs of MS was 20%.

Conclusions: Our study revealed the substantial health and economic burden of MS, with the average annual cost per patient to be approximately €6,682 in 2020. We provide the first extensive assessment of the burden of MS on Slovakian patients, the healthcare system, and society. It indicates the need for a detailed analysis of the employment of patients with MS to assess disability and work performance and the development of allied health policies.

Keywords: Cost-of-illness; Health care; Multiple sclerosis; Productivity loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Financial Stress*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / epidemiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Slovakia / epidemiology
  • Young Adult