Health Costs Over 25 Times Higher for Patients With Hemophilia B

Mark S. Lesney, PhD

May 12, 2021

As the burden of hemophilia B in patients increases from mild to severe forms of the disease, the already high economic cost of treatment rises significantly, according to a large retrospective database study.

Researchers developed four profile categories (mild, moderate, moderate-severe, and severe) for men with hemophilia B on the basis of the frequency of hemorrhage events and factor IX replacement claims as identified from the IBM MarketScan database (June 2011–February 2019). The mean annual health care resource use (HRU) and costs were compared between 5,454 patients with hemophilia B and 1:1 demographically matched controls.

Economic Burden

Total health care costs rose with increasingly severe clinical profiles, with hemophilia-related treatments being the primary cost driver, researchers led by Tyler W. Buckner, MD, of the University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, wrote in Blood Advances.

This was particularly true among patients with more severe clinical profiles, who were more likely to be on prophylaxis with all of its associated costs.

The mean overall total costs incurred by patients with hemophilia B over the study period were $201,635 versus $7,879 for matched controls, a more than 25-fold difference (P < .001). In addition, across all four clinical profiles categories, all-cause total costs, medical costs, and pharmacy costs were significantly higher among patients with hemophilia B than matched controls (P < .001 for all), the researchers added.

Annual total health care costs also increased with increasing severity of hemophilia B clinical profiles, ranging from $80,811 and $137,455 in the mild and moderate groups to $251,619 and $632,088 in the moderate-severe and severe groups, respectively.

"Hemophilia-related treatments represented the primary cost driver. HRU was uniformly higher among patients with hemophilia B across clinical profiles, medical service types examined, and with respect to opioid use. The significant burden highlights that unmet needs remain in hemophilia B," the researchers concluded.

This study was supported by uniQure. Dr. Buckner has received honoraria or fees for serving on advisory boards or as a consultant for uniQure. Several of the coauthors are employees of Analysis Group, which received consulting fees from uniQure to conduct this study, and two of the authors are employees of and own stock in uniQure.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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