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Management of nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease (NTMLD) consists of a long-term multi-drug antibiotic regimen, yet many patients do not achieve culture conversion. We estimated the NTMLD-related direct medical costs in Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (UK) among refractory patients who were infected with Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), without concomitant cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, or HIV.
We conducted a retrospective observational physician survey of nationally representative samples. The survey captured anonymized information about patients’ treatment histories for NTMLD-related health care resource utilization over a 24-month period. We summarized NTMLD-related resource use and estimated the total economic burden, from each country’s health care payer perspective.
In total, 59 physicians provided data on 157 patients. The average person time observed during the 24-month period was 1.7 years (SD: 0.4); 17% of patients died by the end of the study period. The major components of NTMLD-related direct medical costs among refractory patients were hospitalizations (varying from 29% of total annual costs in the UK to 69% in France), outpatient visits (8% in Canada to 51% in the UK), and outpatient testing such as post-diagnostic sputum testing, bronchial wash/lavage, spirometry, biopsies, imaging, and electrocardiograms (5% in France to 35% in Canada). In this patient cohort, the average direct medical costs per person-year, in local currencies, were approximately $16,200 (Canada), €11,600 (Germany), €17,900 (France) and £9,700 (UK).
Based on this study’s findings, we conclude that managing patients with refractory NTMLD caused by MAC is associated with a substantial economic burden.