Cost-effectiveness of an 8% Capsaicin Patch in the Treatment of Brachioradial Pruritus and Notalgia Paraesthetica, Two Forms of Neuropathic Pruritus
Sabine Steinke, Mandy Gutknecht, Claudia Zeidler, Anette Maria Dieckhöfer, Olga Herrlein, Hannah Lüling, Sonja Ständer, Matthias Augustin
In brachioradial pruritus and notalgia paraesthetica, the 8% capsaicin patch is a novel and effective, but cost-intense, therapy. Routine data for 44 patients were collected 6 months retrospectively and prospectively to first patch application. The cost to health insurance and the patient, and patient-reported outcomes were analysed (visual analogue scale, numerical rating scale, verbal rating scale for pruritus symptoms, Dermatological Life Quality Index, and Patient Benefit Index). Mean inpatient treatment costs were reduced by €212.31, and mean outpatient treatment and medication costs by €100.74 per patient (p.p.). However, these reductions did not offset the high cost of the patch itself (€767.02 p.p.); thus the total cost to health insurance increased by €453.97 p.p. (p ≤ 0.01). The additional costs of therapy to the patient decreased by €441.06, thus the overall cost p.p. remained approximately the same (€3,306.03 vs. €3,318.94). Capsaicin patch therapy resulted in reduced pruritus, improved quality of life and greater patient benefit, thus long-term cost-efficiency analyses are necessary.