Estimating the fiscal impact of rare diseases using a public economic framework: a case study applied to hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis

Mark P. Connolly*, Saswat Panda, Julien Patris, Bouke P. C. Hazenberg

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

6 Citaten (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


A wide range of rare diseases can have fiscal impacts on government finances that extend beyond expected healthcare costs. Conditions preventing people from achieving national lifetime work averages will influence lifetime taxes paid and increase the likelihood of dependence on public income support. Consequently, interventions that influence projected lifetime work activity, morbidity and mortality can have positive and negative fiscal consequences for government. The aim of this study was to apply a public economic framework to a rare disease that takes into consideration a broad range of costs that are relevant to government in relation to transfers received and taxes paid. As a case study we constructed a simulation model to calculate the fiscal life course of an individual with hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis in The Netherlands. In this lethal disease different progressive disease scenarios occur, including polyneuropathy and/or cardiomyopathy.
Due to progressive disability, health care resource use, and early death, hATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy receives more transfers from government compared to the general population. In a scenario where a patient is diagnoses with hATTR at age 45, an individual pays €180,812 less in lifetime taxes and receives incrementally €111,695 in transfers from the government, compared to a person without hATTR. Patients suffering from cardiomyopathy die after median 4 years. The health costs of this scenario are therefore lower than that of the other polyneuropathy-based scenarios.
The fiscal analysis illustrates how health conditions influence not only health costs, but also the cross-sectorial public economic burden attributed to lost tax revenues and public disability allowances. Due to the progressive nature of hATTR amyloidosis used in this study, public costs including disability increase as the disease progresses with reduced lifetime taxes paid. The results indicate that halting disease progression early in the disease course would generate fiscal benefits beyond health benefits for patients. This analysis highlights the fiscal consequences of diseases and the need for broader perspectives applied to evaluate health conditions. Conventional cost-effectiveness framework used by many health technology assessment agencies have well-documented limitations in the field of rare diseases and fiscal modeling should be a complementary approach to consider.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftOrphanet journal of rare diseases
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 18-sep-2019

Citeer dit