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Limited Economic Evidence for Vitiligo Treatments

Research reveals no evidence to support or refute value for money afforded by vitiligo treatments


THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 (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 Aug. 10 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Emma McManus, Ph.D., 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 two 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 percent 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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