New study from the USA aimed at modeling the course of Parkinson’s disease (PD) which describes the economic consequences of slower rates of progression

Multiple studies describe progression, dementia rates, direct and indirect costs, and health utility by Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) stage, but research has not incorporated these data into a model to evaluate possible economic consequences of slowing progression.

A Markov model was developed by the authors to show the net monetary benefits of slower rates of progression. Four scenarios assuming hypothetical slower rates of progression were compared to a base case scenario.

Base case results indicate average excess direct costs of $303,754, life-years of 12.8 years and quality-adjusted life-years of 6.96. A scenario where PD progressed 20% slower than the base case resulted in net monetary benefits of $60,657 ($75,891 including lost income) per patient. The net monetary benefit comes from a $37,927 decrease in direct medical costs, 0.45 increase in quality-adjusted life-years, and $15,235 decrease in lost income.

The scenario where PD progression was arrested resulted in net monetary benefits of $442,429 per patient. Reducing progression rates could produce significant economic benefit. This benefit is strongly dependent on the degree to which progression is slowed.