Two new studies recently published in the journal Movement Disorders (The Current and Projected Economic Burden of Parkinson's Disease in the United States and An Economic Model of Parkinson’s Disease: Implications for Slowing Progression in the United States) highlight the financial toll Parkinson’s disease takes on American families.
The economic burden of Parkinson's disease is at least $14.4 billion a year in the United States, and the prevalence of Parkinson's will more than double by the year 2040, according to the authors of “The Current and Projected Economic Burden of Parkinson's Disease in the United States.”
The authors of that study also note that those with Parkinson's disease incurred Parkinson's-related medical expenses of $22,800 per patient, compared to $10,000 for someone without Parkinson's. Approximately 57% of the excess medical cost is associated with higher use of nursing home services. An additional $6.3 billion annually is logged in indirect costs such as missed work or job loss for the patient or caregiver, long-distance travel to see a neurologist or movement disorder specialist, and home modifications, adult day care, and personal care aides.
The authors of the second study, “An Economic Model of Parkinson's Disease: Implications for Slowing Progression in the United States,” focused on the potential cost savings that could be realized through the development of a disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s. According to the authors, a treatment that could slow Parkinson's progression by 50 percent would yield a 35-percent reduction in excess costs, representing a dramatic reduction in cost of care spread over a longer expected survival.
"By investing in biomedical research both at the federal level and in the private sector, and creating results-driven public-private partnerships, the scientific community can develop more innovative therapies toward better treatments and, one day, a cure for Parkinson's,” said Amy Comstock Rick, CEO of The Parkinson’s Action Network, in a prepared statement. “In addition to research funding and strategic incentives to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing among academic and industry research groups, we need strong federal, state, and local policies and programs in place that improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson's and the impact the disease has on their families.”
Read a full report and a longer version of Comstock Rick’s statement at the Parkinson’s Action Network Web site.