[Socioeconomic relevance of the idiopathic restless legs syndrome (RLS) in Germany: cost-of-illness study].
ABSTRACT 1.3% of German adults suffer from clinically relevant restless legs syndrome (RLS). A cost-of-illness study was conducted to evaluate the costs for diagnosis and therapy of the idiopathic RLS.
A clinical pathway based on expert guidelines was developed. The costs for the 1st year of treatment in idiopathic RLS were calculated with the Markov Model. Relevant published clinical study data were used for the model as well as questioning of physicians.
Costs per patient with approved drug treatment are 989.80 Euro for sickness funds and 1,285.26 Euro from the societal perspective. Drug costs are the main cost components for sickness funds and the society with 69% and 61%, respectively. Less than half of the patients continue an L-dopa therapy longer than 1 year. About one quarter of all RLS patients need off-label therapy after the 1st year of treatment.
The costs for a guideline-oriented therapy for all patients with clinically relevant RLS in Germany are about 1,135 billion Euro, representing 0.5% of all health-related costs in Germany. Further controlled clinical trials are required to provide evidence for the efficacy of different treatment options including drugs without an approval for RLS and long-term use. Health services research is required for cost-utility analysis, to evaluate the costs of inadequate treatment, and to obtain additional information to improve the resource allocation in RLS treatment.