Economic Evidence Lacking for Vitiligo Treatment

HealthDay News — The cost burden associated with vitiligo is high, although no evidence exists for the value of vitiligo treatments, according to a research letter published online August 10 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Emma McManus, PhD, from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine all economic evidence related to vitiligo, assess the quality of this economic research, and identify gaps in the research.

The researchers identified 2 published research papers with a primary economic objective. The first was a willingness-to-pay survey conducted among 1,023 German vitiligo patients who were asked how much they were willing to pay for a cure. Overall, 32.5% of the patients stated that they would be prepared to pay a one-off investment of more than €5,000 (2006 price year; the highest band offered) for a cure of vitiligo. In a second study, the annual direct cost of treating vitiligo was estimated at $175,000,000 for 2004 price year (equivalent to £151,935,027.49 in 2016), which included visits to clinicians, hospital appointments, and prescriptions. 

“The systematic review does not enable us to answer our title question; it shows that no evidence exists to support or refute the value for money afforded by vitiligo treatments from any perspective (health systems, employers, or individuals),” the authors write.

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