HOPE Center Associate Director Reflects on Recent Valley Fever Study

A recent HOPE Center study estimated total lifetime costs of valley fever in Arizona at $736 million. The analysis evaluated both direct medical expenses ($671 million) and work loss related ($65 million) costs associated with valley fever. Two-thirds of all valley fever cases in the US occur in Arizona, with 10,359 cases diagnosed in 2019.

“When Dr. John Galgiani, director of the Valley Fever Center of Excellence, asked me to partner with him to assess the economic burden of valley fever in Arizona, I jumped at the chance”, said lead author Amy Grizzle, PharmD, associate director of the HOPE Center. "Valley fever has a huge public health impact here in Arizona and this study helps to raise awareness about the morbidity, mortality, and costs attributed to valley fever each year." 

Grizzle was quick to note that it was a pleasure to work with long-time colleague Dr. Leslie Wilson from UCSF who laid the groundwork for their analysis by recently publishing her study on the costs of valley fever in California. The team adapted Dr. Wilson’s methodologies for Arizona, using the state specific prevalence, treatment patterns, and costs.  

Dr. Grizzle said it was a real honor to collaborate with Drs. Galgiani and David Nix - - two of Arizona’s most respected experts in valley fever. “They provided great insights into how patients are diagnosed and treated here in Arizona.”

The study, “Clinical and Economic Burden of Valley Fever in Arizona: An Incidence-Based Cost-of-Illness Analysis,” was recently published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases. The authors hope the substantial costs highlighted in the study will underscore the value of supporting research into developing both a preventative vaccine and better therapies for Valley fever.

For more details, view the full news story on the College of Pharmacy news page