Economic burden of prescriptive inadequacy in the management of osteoarthritis in Italy
Il burden economico dell’inappropriatezza prescrittiva nella gestione dell’osteoartrite in Italia
Introduction: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common chronic joint disease characterized by pain, deformity, instability, reduction of motion and function. It is one of the main causes of disability in older adults, affecting about 10% of men and 18% of women over the age of sixty. There are several Guidelines that support the general clinical decision-making process. However, it is necessary to define an integrated management model for patients with OA to ensure an appropriate and quality healthcare.
Methods: The objective of the analysis is to determine the economic burden linked to the prevalence and incidence of OA in the acute and chronic phases from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS) and the entire society. A comparison was made between the management according to the clinical practice and the appropriate management according to National and International Guidelines, determining for each scenario the level of resources absorbed.
Results: Patients who started a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-based therapy in clinical practice resulted in a higher absorption of resources of €363.87 than the same patient managed by referring to National and International Guidelines.
Conclusions: OA is associated with a high economic burden and it is a priority problem for public health internationally. The savings resulting from our research, if generalized to the entire Italian population, would lead to a significant reduction of OA economic burden, thus allowing a reallocation of the available resources to other NHS’ sectors.
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