Research shows improved treatment of severe epilepsy reduces overall cost of the condition

February 08, 2016

The two-year observational study looked at the US insurance records of 9,163 epilepsy patients who filed at least two claims for AEDs. Total costs of treatment ranged from $6,000 to $33,000 USD per year over a two-year period, depending on disease severity, which was rated based on the number of epilepsy-related emergency room visits, with greater than or equal to three visits considered "most severe." Annual costs were categorized as either "AED" or "non-AED" costs. "Non-AED" costs included concomitant medications and "other" costs, such as emergency room visits, hospitalizations, lab and radiology tests, and physician visits.

An unadjusted analysis showed that while AED costs were not linked to epilepsy severity, there was a disproportionate 10-fold rise in "other" costs from the least to most severe category driven mainly by hospitalization expenses. In the adjusted analysis, the difference between AED and "other" costs also increased significantly with epilepsy severity, and it also increased with the number of co-morbidities and age. In contrast, the cost difference decreased with better AED compliance, leading the authors to conclude that cost savings could be achieved through strategies to improve treatment of severe epilepsy.