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Two surveys stress high costs of IBS. (Frequent Office Visits).

SEATTLE -- The heavy burden imposed by irritable bowel syndrome was underscored by two national patient surveys presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology.

Mugdha Gore, Ph.D., reported that in her study population of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), each had spent an average of $258 for the GI disorder in the past 3 months. And 81% were on at least three therapies: one prescription, one OTC, and one alternative.

Moreover, 43% were taking at least two agents from each of these three classes for their IBS, added Dr. Gore of Philadelphia.

In a study conducted for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, she mailed a detailed questionnaire regarding the impact of IBS to 1,340 members of the Intestinal Disease Foundation, a national patient advocacy group. The response rate was 49%. Overall, 65% of the respondents had IBS by Rome II criteria. Of the participants with IBS, 97% had two or more IBS-related office and/or telephone consults with a physician during the last 3 months; 75% had four or more consults in the same time frame.

Bonnie Dean, Ph.D., presented the results of another IBS survey conducted for Novartis, this one involving 1,817 employees of a large bank in several states. Of those surveyed, 44% met Rome II criteria for IBS during the previous 12 months.

Workers with IBS reported missing 2.2% of work time because of absenteeism resulting from GI problems, compared with 0.5% among employees without IBS.
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Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:246
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