The Estimation of Direct Medical Costs of Treating Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B and C in Iran

Hamid Kalantari, Majid Davari, Mojtaba Akbari, Seyed Mehdi Hejazi, Maryam Kalantari, Shahram Zakerin, Zahra Shahshahan

Abstract


Background: The objective of this study is to estimate the average diagnosis and treatment costs of chronic hepatitis B and C, with respect to different therapeutic strategies in Iran.

Methods: This is a descriptive, analytical, and cross‑sectional study carried out on patients with hepatitis B and C, who were referred to the Liver Disease Research Center for Prevention and Treatment of Hepatitis, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, in 2011. We have estimated the direct medical costs including doctors’ fees, cost of para‑clinical tests, medical treatments, and liver biopsy, in different treatment strategies.

Findings: The results of this study showed that the total cost of diagnostic services for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients, with state medical tariffs, was US$ 1499.07 and US$ 2084.89, respectively. The patients’ profiles showed that there were currently seven therapeutic strategies available to treat HBV patients. The total cost of treatment strategies varied significantly from US$ 73 to US$ 8256. There were also four main strategies for HCV patients, each of these could be applied in two periods of time. The total cost of these treatment strategies showed a high disc repancy from US$ 242 t o US$ 8256.

Conclusion: The results confirmed that the total direct medical cost for an HBV patient in Iran exceeded US$ 5.5 Milliard in 2011. The results implied that the market price of direct medical cost of HBV and HCV patients in Iran is much higher than the estimated state costs. These costs would likely be saved or reduced by effective disease management and early prevention.

Keywords: Direct medical costs, hepatitis B, hepatitis C



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