Canada – March 21, 2011

According to an Angus Reid National Study conducted for the Canadian Pain Society, one-third of all Canadians reported taking sick days, reducing productivity, losing income or their jobs due to pain they experienced in the last three months.  The National Health Population Survey estimates direct health-care costs associated with pain have hit $6-Billion per year and is expected to hit $10 billion per year.

Young people were affected more than any other age group surveyed with 23% being between the ages of 18 and 34.

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Hospital Munich, Germany – March 2011

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation announced that Fibromyalgia affects a population mostly of a productivity age and is thus associated with significant lost productivity and disability, in addition to increased healthcare costs for medications and physician office visits.  Other studies have examined FM costs in Europe but few have examined the cost of FM by severity level.

A total of 299 FM patients were recruited who were diagnosed by a rheumatologist from physician offices in France and Germany and completed questionnaires about pain level, health-related quality of life, treatment satisfaction, and FM-related out-of-pocket expenses. The results indicated that a total of 81% of subjects were receiving prescription medication for their FM while French subjects reported a lower use of anti-inflammatories but a higher use of other analgesics than its German counterparts.  Those in full or part-time employment reported missing 6.0 days of work due to FM in France and 3.8 days in Germany over the last 4 weeks.

The study indicates that FM imposes a significant economic burden on society and is consistent with other studies. FM subjects were found to have substantial costs, over 75% of which were indirect costs due to lost productivity.  These costs increased as FM severity increased resulting in a more than 200% difference in cost between mild and severe FM.

[Ed. Note: Ref. Winkelmann A, Perrot S, Schaefer C, Ryan K, Chandran !, Sakosky A, Zlateva G. - Appl. Health Econ Health Policy, 2011 Mar 1-9(2):125-35. Doi]