Direct Cost of Medical Management of Epilepsy among Adults in Italy: A Prospective Cost-of-Illness Study (EPICOS)

Ettore Beghi, Livio Garattini, Elena Ricci, Dante Cornago, Fabio Parazzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the costs of epilepsy from a nationwide survey comparing adult patients included in different prognostic categories. Methods: A 12-month prospective observational study was conducted in 15 epilepsy centers from Northern, Central, and Southern Italy. The study population included a random sample of individuals aged 18 years and older with newly diagnosed (ND) epilepsy, seizure remission (R), occasional seizures (OS), active non-drug-resistant (NDR) seizures, drug-resistant (DR) seizures, or surgical candidates (SC). Estimates of the direct costs of care of epilepsy were based on the use of diagnostic examinations, laboratory tests, specialist consultations, hospital admissions, day-hospital days, and drugs, taking the Italian National Health Service perspective. Results: The sample included 631 patients (ND 62, R 158, OS 155, NDR 114, DR 128, and SC 14). The SC group had the highest total cost per patient (€3,619) followed by DR (€2,190), ND (€976), NDR (€894), OS (€830), and R (€561). For each epilepsy group, the main components of the total cost were drugs and hospital admissions. Drug costs increased from the R group to the DR group. The new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) were the largest part of the cost of treatment. Conclusions: The costs of epilepsy in referral patients vary significantly according to the time course of the disease and the response to treatment. Hospital admissions and drugs are the major sources of expenditure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • Adults
  • Direct costs
  • Epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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