Profile, Healthcare Resource Consumption and Related Costs in ANCA-Associated Vasculitis Patients: a Real-World Analysis in Italy

Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitides (AAV) are rare autoimmune diseases triggering
inflammation of small vessels. This real-world analysis was focused on the most common AAV forms, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), to describe patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics,
therapeutic management, disease progression, and the related economic burden. A retrospective analysis was conducted on administrative databases of a representative sample of Italian healthcare entities, covering approximately 12 million residents. Between January 2010 and December 2020, adult GPA patients were identified by payment waiver code or hospitalization discharge diagnosis, and MPA patients by payment waiver code with or without hospitalization discharge diagnosis. Clinical outcomes were evaluated through AAV-related hospitalizations, renal failure onset, and mortality. Economic analysis included healthcare resource utilization deriving from drugs, hospitalizations, and outpatient specialist services. The related mean direct costs year/patient were also calculated in patients stratified by presence/absence of glucocorticoid therapy and type of inclusion criterion (hospitalization/payment waiver code). Results: Overall, 859 AAV patients were divided into GPA (n = 713; 83%) and MPA (n = 146; 17%) cohorts. Outcome indicators highlighted a clinically worse phenotype associated with GPA compared to MPA. Cost analysis during follow-up showed tendentially increased expenditures in glucocorticoid-treated patients versus untreated (overall AAV: €8728 vs. €7911; GPA: €9292 vs. €9143; MPA: €5967 vs. €2390), mainly driven by drugs (AAV: €2404 vs. €874; GPA: €2510 vs. €878; MPA: €1881 vs. €854) and hospitalizations.
Conclusion: Among AAV forms, GPA resulted in a worse clinical picture, higher mortality, and increased costs. This is the first real-world pharmaco-economic analysis on AAV patients stratified by glucocorticoid use on disease management expenditures. In both GPA and MPA patients, glucocorticoid treatment resulted in higher healthcare costs, mostly attributable to medications, and then hospitalizations, confirming the clinical complexity and economic burden for management of patients with autoimmune diseases under chronic immunosuppression.