Cost of illness for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Watchareeporn Rodthong
Thananan Rattanachotpanit
Supon Limwattanano
Chulaporn Limwattananon
Sunee Lertsinudom
Watchara Boonsawat


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a key non-communicable chronic disease has been increasing in morbidity and mortality. This study aims to estimate cost of the COPD illness for one year and to predict budget impact for treating the illness for five years. Materials and Method: Model parameters obtained from electronic database of Easy COPD clinics in 2004-2013 included severity degrees based on spirometry, emergency visits due to non-severe exacerbation, hospitalization due to severe exacerbation, medicine use. Direct costs were composed of both health and non-health components, using societal perspective. Results: Total direct cost associated with COPD in one year was estimated to be 1,003 million Baht in 2015. Majority (81%) was associated with out-patient care, whereby non-healthcare cost accounted for 10%. Cost associated with the emergency visits of all patients accrued to 34 million Baht and the hospitalization cost was 88 million Baht. Patients with mild and moderate levels of comorbidity-complication had the cost of treatment for exacerbation of 10%, whereas those with severe and very severe levels had the treatment cost of 15%. The average cost per patient per year was 6,084; 8,527; 11,392; and 16,527 Baht per year, depending across the four comorbidity-complication levels. Over a five-year period, the predicted COPD would be 217,583 cases, which increased from the present by 115,082 cases. This would result in nearly double budget burden or 1,832 million Baht. Conclusion: Without proper treatment to control for the disease symptoms and exacerbation by professional health care teams, budget impact would be substantial.


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