How Have Improvements in Myeloma Care Impacted Costs?

A study published in the European Journal of Haematology calculated costs and survival outcomes associated with implementation of new early-line treatments for multiple myeloma (MM).

For this study, researchers utilized data from the Danish National Health Registers to identify 3,518 patients diagnosed with MM between 2002-2005 or 2010-2013. Participants were randomly matched to controls to compare health care utilization and costs.

Over the analysis period, health care utilization showed a marked increase in outpatient admissions compared to inpatient admissions. In patients aged < 65 years, outpatient visits increased by 22% between 2002-2005 and 2010-2013, and increased by 28% in patients aged older than 65 years.

Mean annual outpatient costs also increased, from €17,001 to €23,643 and €11,317 to €16,144 in younger and older patients, respectively. Fewer inpatient visits translated to lower mean inpatient costs. Total mean costs by younger patients also decreased over time, possibly due in part to fewer MM complications, according to the study authors. Five-year survival improved across both age groups over time.

In conclusion, the researchers wrote, “Despite the introduction of new expensive early-line MM treatments in 2009, health care costs remained stable due to a shift in health care utilization towards outpatient clinic care and fewer complications.”