Urothelial Bladder Cancer (UBC) is the ninth worldwide most common cancer. In Italy the prevalence of the disease is about 10 percent, representing the third most prevalent cancer with 180,775 cases in men and 42,757 cases in women. The increase in the incidence requires continuous surveillance and care, resulting in a significant burden on Italian Healthcare System, making any improvement to the strategy for diagnosing and treating this disease important to the medical and scientific community. The aim of this study was to evaluate the burden of UBC in the Italian context, collecting and measuring the total costs of the disease.
An economic analysis in the National Health Service perspective was carried out, evaluating in six centers direct costs in terms of outpatient, inpatient and emergency care, pharmaceuticals and follow up procedures and indirect costs in terms of productivity losses. Data were collected through aggregated form reports, focusing on patients with an existing diagnosis of UBC who were taken in charge in the last year. Statistical analysis was conducted in order to explore variations between centers.
Mean total annual cost per patients was EUR11,310, increasing for disease severity from EUR6,954 for superficial disease to EUR24,896 for metastatic stage. The analysis confirmed a proportional relation between disease severity and disability grade. The total burden of the disease considering all patients, including prevalence and incidence data coming from AIOM guidelines 2015, was EUR2,833,655,822, of which 15 percent is represented by estimated productivity losses.
Our analysis represents the first economic burden study of UBC in the Italian context as well as the first real life evidence of the current therapeutic algorithm. This study opens the possibility for further analysis on the indirect costs components that represent a great burden for the society, especially for the stages of the disease with high disability grade.