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Cost of epilepsy in patients attending a secondary-level hospital in India.

The study objective was out to provide an estimate of cost of epilepsy in a secondary level hospital in northern India where a once a week epilepsy clinic is run. Cost data were based on existing information on costs of the hospital and market rates for drugs and investigations. Other necessary information was extracted from patient records for the year 2001. Both direct (consultation fees, cost of investigation, drugs and facility costs) and indirect (traveling and loss of productivity) were estimated. A 25% loss of productivity was assumed based on interviews with the epilepsy patients attending the clinic. There were a total of 184 patients attending the epilepsy clinic during the year 2001. The annual drug cost of epilepsy treatment using phenobarbitone was 11 US dollars. The cost of drugs was in the ratio 1:2:3:4 for phenobarbitone, phenytoin, carbamazepine and sodium valproate. The average annual cost of outpatient treatment of epilepsy was found to be 47 US dollars per patient. The annual cost incurred in emergency and inpatient management was estimated at 810.50 US dollars and 168.30 US dollars for all the patients attending the secondary hospital during the year 2001. The total annual treatment cost for patients attending the hospital was 11,470 US dollars. The annual productivity loss for the same patients was estimated at 20,475 US dollars. Applying these to the estimated 5 million epilepsy patients in India, it comes to about 0.2% of the GNP of the country. As disease cost is much lower than productivity loss, epilepsy treatment is a worthwhile investment for the society. Treating epilepsy patients at primary level using phenobarbitone will increase the treatment coverage and reduce treatment costs. Simultaneous efforts must be made to bring the epilepsy patients on mainstream so as to reduce the productivity loss.[1]

References

  1. Cost of epilepsy in patients attending a secondary-level hospital in India. Krishnan, A., Sahariah, S.U., Kapoor, S.K. Epilepsia (2004) [Pubmed]
 
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