The number of chronic and progressive diseases continues to increase, and thus the medical needs will only increase. One such disease is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and data on the impact of the disease on the National Health System (SNS) have begun to be released.
The average annual cost per patient associated with IPF is €27,000. According to Boehringer Ingelheim, the cost of medication and hospital days account for the majority of direct costs, Boehringer Ingelheim conducted an observational study to estimate the cost of IPF in the Spanish health system.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic, progressive disease of unknown cause in which patients develop scarring of the lungs that makes breathing difficult, may require taking Obtaining a diagnosis takes more than two years. If it arrives later, it can lead to a worse prognosis.
It is included in interstitial lung disease. Its diagnosis requires verification on radiology or lung biopsy of a typical pattern of lung changes called common interstitial pneumonia. It is also important to rule out that there are no other possible causes of this condition, such as rheumatism (connective disease), exposure to certain environmental factors, or certain medications.
Between 8,000 and 12,000 people in Spain suffer from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
The drug study analyzed more than 200 patients, categorizing them according to their forced vital capacity (FVC, or the amount of air that can be forcibly expelled from the lungs when filled with as much air as possible), under 50%, 50%, 80%, 80% %above.
The average annual cost per patient associated with IPF is €26,997, most of which are direct costs. IPF affects approximately 8,000 and 12,000 people in Spain, mainly in people in their 60s or 70s. IPF is more common in men And most had a history of smoking.
IPF is a chronic progressive disease, so lung capacity decreases as the disease progresses. As patients lose their ability to breathe, medical needs increase.
The average annual cost per patient with FVC below 50% was EUR 44,412.
In this context, studies have shown that patients with lower FVC or higher levels of FVC deterioration have the highest costs due to increased primary care and specialty visits, hospital days, ICU days, and nonpharmacologic treatments.
In this sense, the average annual cost per patient with FVC below 50% was EUR 44,412, while the average annual cost for patients with FVC between 50% and 80% was EUR 25,803. If the patient’s respiratory capacity is above 80%, the average cost per patient can be reduced to 23,242 euros.