By: Andreea Antonovici

The European Brain Council contributed to the World Health Organization 2017 Eurohealth edition with an article on the Value of Treatment, highlighting the importance of health prevention and intervention in reducing the costs of brain disorders.

Direct health care and the non-medical costs of brain disorders make up 60% of the total costs associated with brain disorders, and are estimated at €800 billion per year in Europe. As prevalence and incidence are increasing for most mental and neurological disorders, we will need to manage several important challenges to achieve more value-based and patient-centred research and care.

There is a considerable gap in terms of diagnosis and treatment, which is true for all brain disorders ranging from Schizophrenia to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and other brain conditions. The Value of Treatment study covers these disorders and addresses major obstacles to optimal treatment through case study analysis while providing evidence-based and cost-effective solutions.

EMSP was part of the two-year research project that highlights necessary public health policy implications for prevention, patient oriented and sustainable care models as well as the need for more basic and applied research.

In the case of MS social impact and economic consequences are considerable: MS imposes a high burden on society and the disease societal costs increase significantly with disability. In the cost societal perspective, the annual direct costs for treatment and care range from €23,000 per annum for mild MS to €77,000 per annum for severe MS.

The conclusions of the Value of Treatment White Policy Paper in Multiple Sclerosis highlight that Early treatment is key in MS to slow disease activity and progression. Treating MS nowadays should aim to preserve brain and cognitive reserve through the early use of adequate treatment along as adopting a ‘brain-healthy’ lifestyle. This implies a more holistic approach to treatment and care, which comprises the shared decision between the patients and the MS neurologist about the most effective treatment to initiate, patients’ values and preferences.

To read more on the MS case study, you can find the VoT report here