Cost-Effectiveness of Allergen Immunotherapy
- *Corresponding Author:
- Cristoforo Incorvaia
Allergy/Pulmonary rehabilitation Unit
ICP Hospital, Via Bignami, 120100 Milan, Italy
Tel: +39 02 5513852
Fax: +39 02 57993325
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: November 01, 2011; Accepted Date: January 18, 2012; Published Date: January 23, 2012
Citation: Incorvaia C, Berto P, Ariano R, Elia R, Frati F (2012) Cost-Effectiveness of Allergen Immunotherapy. J Aller Ther S7:006. doi: 10.4172/2155-6121.S7-006
Copyright: ©2012 Incorvaia C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The current burden of allergic diseases, considering both direct and indirect costs, is very relevant. In fact the estimated cost for allergic rhinitis (AR) is 4-10 billion dollars/year in the US and averages an annual cost of 1089 euros per child/adolescent and 1543 euros per adult in Europe. The cost is obviously higher when including also allergic asthma. Strategies aimed at reducing the clinical severity of allergy are therefore most relevant from both a societal and healthcare system’s perspective. Among them, allergen immunotherapy (AIT) showed preventive capacity and also a carryover effect once treatment is discontinued, thus further reducing the costs. A number of studies demonstrated a favorable cost-benefit ratio for AIT. The first studies in the 1990s evaluating subcutaneous AIT in patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma, reported significant reductions of direct and indirect costs in subjects treated with AIT, as compared to those treated with symptomatic drugs. This was fully confirmed in recent studies conducted in European countries, also including sublingual immunotherapy, as well as in studies conducted in the US. In particular, the conclusion of a recent study on health care cost benefits of AIT in children with AR suggesting that “Greater use of this treatment in children could significantly reduce AR-related morbidity and its economic burden” should be kept in mind when considering the optimal choice of medical treatment in patients with AR or asthma.