Hemophilia B Shows High Health Care Cost Burden

Adult men with hemophilia B had annual health care costs that totaled more than 25-fold higher than matched controls, demonstrating the burden of this illness in research published in Blood Advances.

The study authors used a claims-based algorithm to identify 454 male patients with hemophilia B and compared them to 454 demographic-matched controls. The study demonstrated economic burden on the US health system.

More than 6000 people in the United States are living with hemophilia B. Although the disease is rare, it is expensive to treat and presents a substantial economic burden.

In the study, hemophilia B patients had a higher comorbidity burden, according to the Charlson Comorbidity Index, than the matched controls. Patients with hemophilia B needed more pain medication and antidepressants. They were also more likely to have hemorrhage, joint pain, and osteoarthritis. They also had more hospital visits, including emergency, outpatient, and inpatient.

During the study period, the mean total costs incurred by patients with hemophilia B were $201,635 compared with $7879 for controls. Costs increased as the disease severity increased, with severe hemophilia having a mean total cost of $632,088. Mild disease had a mean cost of $80,811.

Patients with hemophilia B had higher total costs across all categories, including medical and pharmacy costs, and they had higher health care resource utilization.

The primary driver of health care costs was direct disease-related treatments. Patients with severe disease also have higher costs for prophylactic treatment.

The authors aimed to classify disease severity based on indicators in medical claims, so some misclassification is possible.

Conclusions from the study demonstrated that hemophilia B presents a considerable burden of illness and economic and social burden in the United States. The high usage of opioids and medical services may suggest unmet needs for patients with the disease.


Buckner TW, Bocharova I, Hagan K, et al. Health care resource utilization and cost burden of hemophilia B in the United States. Blood Adv. 2021;5(7):1954-1962. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003424