Cost-of-illness Analysis of Patients with Chronic Hand Eczema in Routine Care in Germany: Focus on the Impact of Occupational Disease
Thomas L. Diepgen, Sandra Purwins, Jan Posthumus, Daniel Kuessner, Swen M. John, Matthias Augustin
Chronic hand eczema places a heavy burden on patients, often affecting their ability to work. This paper compares the cost-of-illness and treatment approaches for patients with refractory chronic hand eczema, in relation to whether the disease was occupational or unrelated to work factors. Data from 2 surveys, comprising 310 patients with chronic hand eczema insured by German statutory health insurance (SHI) (including work-impaired patients, work-unaffected patients and non-working patients) and known work-related chronic hand eczema insured by occupational health insurance (OHI). Annual healthcare costs of managing work-impaired patients (SHI) and patients with work-related chronic hand eczema (OHI) were €3,164 and €3,309, respectively, approximately double the costs of managing non-working and work-unaffected (SHI) patients. This analysis shows that the costs associated with chronic hand eczema are affected by the correlation of chronic hand eczema with work, with costs being higher for occupational patients with chronic hand eczema.