Fibromyalgia 10 Years Later: Medical Community Still Puzzled
Despite the continuing controversy, fibromyalgia may receive more attention
in the future, because the costs of caring for people who have it can be
substantial. Studies have shown that patients average 10 outpatient visits per
year and sometimes use several drugs in an attempt to reduce symptoms. One 1996
study found that the mean yearly per-patient cost was $2,274.
Even with good medical care, fibromyalgia studies have shown that most
patients experience little improvement in their overall condition or symptoms.
Nonetheless, Goldberg says, patients with the syndrome find it reassuring to
obtain "a diagnostic label," and just making the diagnosis leads to
decreased use of costly testing and health care services.