Out-of-pocket Costs for Individuals with Atopic Eczema: A Cross-sectional Study in Nine European Countries
Alexander G.S. Zink, Bernd Arents, Antje Fink-Wagner, Irmtraud A. Seitz, Ute Mensing, Niels Wettemann, Giuseppe de Carlo, Johannes Ring
Atopic eczema (AE) is one of the most common non-communicable inflammatory skin diseases, and has a huge socioeconomic impact. Studies on the everyday economic impact of AE on patients, however, are limited. To estimate the annual extra out-of-pocket spending due to AE among patients in Europe, a cross-sectional study using computer-assisted phone interviewing of patients with AE was performed in 9 European countries. A total of 1,189 patients (56% women) with AE, who were either eligible for, or on, systemic treatment, participated in the study between October 2017 and March 2018. Mean extra spending on everyday necessities was €927 per patient per year for healthcare expenses, and this figure was slightly, but not statistically significantly, influenced by the severity of AE. Emollients and moisturizers accounted for the highest monthly costs, followed by medication that was not reimbursed, doctors’ and hospital costs. AE-related out-of-pocket costs pose a substantial burden for affected individuals, are higher than in other chronic diseases, and should always be included in economic assessments of the impact of this disease.
Atopic eczema is a skin disease with a huge impact on the everyday lives of affected patients’ and their families, but little awareness in the general population. This study including 1,189 people with atopic eczema living in 9 European countries found that extra out-of-pocket spending due to the atopic eczema is another setback with a mean amount of €927 spent by every patient per year. Out-of-pocket costs are a substantial burden in atopic eczema and much higher than in other chronic diseases. These costs should always be taken into account in individual as well as economic assessments of the disease.