The Cost of Asthma Treatment in Phramongkutlao Hospital: Population-Based Study in Adults

Tadech Boonpiyathad, Sittipong Yimsawad, Atik Sangasapaviriya
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 2016, 99 (1): 51-7

BACKGROUND: Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects patients' quality of life and work performance. The cost of asthma treatment is a global economic burden. The costs include the direct medical costs and the indirect costs, such as the loss of productivity, which is difficult to quantify.

OBJECTIVE: Analyze the cost of asthma treatment in Thailand.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: Seventy-four asthmatic patients who had exacerbation were enrolled in the present study. Self-answer questionnaires were completed by the subjects including characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and level of asthma control by asthma control test (ACT) score. We evaluated the cost of asthma treatment calculated from direct medical, direct non-medical, and indirect medical costs.

RESULTS: The average total cost per month was 2,752 Thai baht (US$ 86). The direct medical, direct non-medical, and indirect medical costs were 52.39%, 20.73%, and 26.88%, respectively. The direct medical costs accounted for quick-relief medications 11.91% and control medications 36.85% of the total medical cost. Loss of productivity, loss of work caused by asthma exacerbation, was the majority cost of non-medical costs. The average cost of treatment in uncontrolled was higher than partly controlled asthmatic patients but without significant difference. Healthcare payment system and age range affected the total costs of asthma treatment.

CONCLUSION: The direct non-medical costs and indirect medical costs tend to play an important role of asthma treatment. The data suggested that cost savings could be achieved by improving asthma control.

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