Vitiligo Patients Have Significantly Higher Health Care Costs

Patients with vitiligo have significantly higher health care costs and health care resource utilization (HCRU), according to a study recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Khaled Ezzedine, M.D., from Henri Mondor University Hospital in Créteil, France, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort analysis to examine health care costs and HCRU among U.S. patients with vitiligo, focusing on direct costs. Between January 2007 and December 2021, patients with vitiligo were matched to controls in a 1:2 ratio (49,512 and 99,024 individuals, respectively).

Vitiligo is more common in other races but tends to be more visible on Black and multiracial skin tones.

The researchers found that compared with controls, patients with vitiligo had significantly higher all-cause ($15,551 versus $7,735) and vitiligo-related ($3,490 versus $54) costs. Patients with vitiligo also had significantly higher all-cause and mental health-related HCRU. Patients on treatments with systemic effects/mental health diagnoses also had significantly higher differences in all-cause and vitiligo-related health care costs compared with controls.

“The economic burden was markedly higher for patients receiving a treatment with systemic effects or with new mental health diagnoses than for the total vitiligo population,” the authors write. “These findings reveal an unmet need for cost-effective treatments and highlight the importance of fully identifying the drivers of economic burden for patients with vitiligo.”

Several authors disclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie, which funded the study.

Abstract/Full Text

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