Chronic pancreatitis imposes substantial human and financial costs, including hospitalizations and medical care, absences from work and school for patients and family, opioid addiction, and other consequences of chronic pain.
An 2014 analysis of the costs of chronic pancreatitis in the United Kingdom estimated the annual cost to be the equivalent of over $100,000 per patient per year—and that was likely an underestimate. The study concluded: “Patients with chronic pancreatitis consume a disproportionately high volume of resources.”¹
Who bears the cost of chronic pancreatitis?
Patients and their families
bear the greatest burden, as they struggle to pay for medical care, maintain employment and schooling, and cope with tremendous pain.
bear the costs of repeated hospital visits, primary and specialist care, endoscopic procedures, and medications.
contribute to healthcare costs and bear the cost of employees who are in too much pain to work and families who need to take time to care for their loved ones.
may contribute to healthcare costs and provide benefits to patients who are too disabled to work.
Right now, these people and companies are bearing significant costs, with dismal outcomes. Could some of these payers use some of their funding to incentivize development of cures or therapies that will reduce these costs? We believe patient outcome financing is the vehicle for doing that, and the path to a healthier, more productive future.
My name is Anthony and I am the brother of someone who suffers from chronic pancreatitis. After his first hospital visit in 2003, my brother Allan continued to suffer from chronic pancreatitis attacks throughout his years at university, which extended his time in school a couple years longer than planned.
After moving to San Diego in 2012, he began to see a reduction in attacks. But, the attacks resurfaced in 2015, and after almost a decade and a half of countless visits to the hospital, he will likely be going under laparoscopic pancreatectomy within the next year. He has gone through extensive tests, nerve block, and currently takes one of the strongest pain medicines, fentanyl, just to manage his pain. They will remove a part of his damaged pancreas and, if successful, will result in, best case, diabetes and the ability to manage the pain sourcing from his pancreas.
It is difficult to watch him suffer and not be able to live the life he wants. For the past year, he has been bed-ridden for days on end and would rather sleep in order to forego the pain. He is one of the strongest people I know.
In support of my brother, my sister and I are pushing ourselves in what he cannot do – be physically active and push ourselves to our limits.
I share his story to raise awareness for a health condition that appears invisible to most.