Aim: The onset and progression of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) usually occurs during the life stage when individuals are more likely to be working and receiving an income, but little is known about the effects of interventions that reduce pain and improve the economic circumstances of patients out of the labour force due to AS. This study evaluates the economic benefits of pain reduction among people aged 19–64 with AS using adalimumab (Humira®) from the patient and governmental perspectives.
Methods: We estimated the benefits of adalimumab for reducing pain in people aged 19–64 with AS in terms of labor force participation and earnings, and to the Australian Government in terms of income tax revenue and welfare payments using economic simulation. The simulation model integrated data from the Adalimumab Trial Evaluating Long-Term Safety and Efficacy for Ankylosing Spondylitis (ATLAS), the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey – Wave 10, and Static Incomes Model (STINMOD). All benefits are expressed in 2014 real Australian dollars.
Results: We estimated an additional 131 people aged 19–64 with AS (111 males, 20 females) would be in the labour force after using adalimumab for 24 weeks. National benefits consisted of an increase in annual earnings of AU$7.4 million for patients through increased labour force participation, savings of $2 million in annual welfare payments, and an increase of $1.3 million in income tax revenue in 2014 (after 24 weeks).
Conclusion: Adalimumab therapy generates substantial economic benefits in addition to health benefits for individuals, and savings for government.
- ankylosing spondylitis
- drug treatment
- health services and health care economics