In the last decades the introduction of novel drugs has greatly improved the prognosis of multiple myeloma (MM) patients. We have investigated healthcare resource utilization and sickness absence-associated productivity loss over time in a population-wide, retrospective registry study in Sweden.
8,693 patients were identified in the National Cancer Register with a MM diagnosis from July 2001 to December 2015 and followed until 2016. Specialized healthcare usage (inpatient admissions and outpatient visits) were obtained from the Patient Register and costs were estimated by weighted DRG codes. For patients under 66 years of age, sickness absence and salary information were obtained by linkage to the LISA Register. Analyses were performed separately on patients who underwent autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) (n=1,425) and on non-transplanted patients (n=7,012) and stratified by diagnosis periods 2001-2005, 2006-2010 and 2011-2015 to reflect increased introduction of effective drugs into clinical care. Median age was 60 years in the ASCT group and 75 years in the non-ASCT group.
The number of MM patients that underwent ASCT increased over time (n= 282 in 2001-2006 to n= 592 in 2011-2015). MM patients diagnosed most recently had improved overall survival (OS), with five-year OS rate increasing from 52% to 58% to 62% for patients diagnosed in 2001-2005, 2006-2010 and 2011-2015, respectively (p<0.0001). Patients diagnosed during 2011-2015 spent on average 20% and 9% less total time in specialized healthcare than patients diagnosed during 2001-2005 and 2006-2010, respectively (adjusting for sex, age at ASCT, weighted comorbidity score at ASCT and per follow-up year and education at ASCT). This decrease was driven by less usage and time in both inpatient and outpatient care. Adjusted sickness absence time decreased by 41% and 38% in the third follow-up year for patients diagnosed during 2011-2015 compared to patients diagnosed during 2001-2005 and 2006-2010, respectively. Productivity loss costs represented about 45% of total costs (healthcare resource costs ~55%) in the first two follow-up years, but decreased over time. The cumulative median per person cost (healthcare- and productivity-related) over the three follow-up years post-diagnosis decreased by 21% in 2011-2015 (€52,273) compared to 2001-2005 (€66,182), despite an 8% increase in three-year OS over the same period.
The number of non-ASCT MM patients also increased over time (n=2,053 in 2001-2005 to n= 2,587 in 2011-2015). Median survival increased from 2.5 years to 3.4 years for patients diagnosed during 2001-2005 compared to 2011-2015. Average total time spent in specialized healthcare was reduced by 29% and 12% for patients diagnosed during 2011-2015, compared to patients diagnosed during 2001-2005 and 2006-2010, respectively (adjusting for sex, age at diagnosis, weighted CCS at diagnosis, weighted CCS per follow-up year and education at diagnosis). This was associated with decreased need for inpatient care and a shift towards more outpatient usage. By the third follow-up year, the adjusted sickness absence time in patients diagnosed during 2011-2015 was reduced by 44% and 23% compared to patients diagnosed in 2001-2005 and 2006-2010, respectively. Productivity loss accounted for approximately 15% of total costs (healthcare resource costs ~85%) and was stable over follow-up years. The cumulative median per-person cost (healthcare- and productivity-related) over three follow-up years was similar for patients diagnosed in 2001-2005 (€25,621) and 2011-2015 (€26,592), despite a 12% increase in three-year OS over the same period.
The availability of new treatment options for MM patients in Sweden over time was associated with less healthcare usage, less time spent in healthcare and lower productivity loss due to sickness absence for both ASCT and non-ASCT-treated patients. These improved clinical and economic outcomes provide policy makers, healthcare providers and physicians with invaluable real-world insights for cost-benefit considerations in the continued development and introduction of effective treatments for MM.
Borgsten:Janssen: Current Employment. Gatopoulou:Janssen: Current Employment. Pisini:Janssen: Current Employment. Tambour:Janssen: Current Employment, Current equity holder in publicly-traded company. Schain:Schain Research: Current Employment, Current equity holder in private company, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Janssen: Consultancy, Divested equity in a private or publicly-traded company in the past 24 months, Ended employment in the past 24 months. Jones:Schain Research: Current Employment. Kwok:Schain Research: Other: Internship . Hjortsberg:Janssen: Current Employment.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.