Author(s): Nieto A, AlvarezCuesta E, Boquete M, Mazn A, de la Torre F
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Abstract According to Weiss et al. , the main providers of asthma care in the United States in 1992 were general and family medicine + internal medicine (46\%), pediatrics (19\%), allergy (25\%), pulmonary medicine (5\%), and others (5\%). In an overall climate of a shift of referral from primary care to the specialties, specialists will have to provide evidence that their intervention in the control of patients provides truly better clinical and economical outcomes than that of general practitioners. In order to support this hypothesis, we estimated: (1) the development of the costs of medication for asthma in a population of 40 million people (Spain) and (2) the correlation between these costs and the intervention of a specialized attendance. In Spain the annual costs incurring from allergic diseases are estimated to be approximately 1,500 million Euros and, the cost due to asthma alone is about 900-1,200 million Euros. There are two main ways to explain the size of these figures. First, the prevalence of allergic diseases is rising year by year. Second, the relevance of allergology in the control of asthma is often greatly reduced. This has resulted in a reduction in the etiological diagnosis and treatment with specific immunotherapy (SIT). However, SIT is the only specific causal treatment of allergic asthma that is able to modify the natural history of disease or disease progression. So, it is possible to hypothesize that this reduction in a proper etiological diagnosis and treatment could be a cause (among others) of increasing costs.
This article was published in J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy