Healthcare resource utilization and cost of care for Gaucher patients in Iran
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Gaucher disease (GD) is an inherited recessive enzyme deficiency with a multisystem condition. The Iranian government covers the therapeutic expenditure of GD patients as it is not affordable for the patients. The aim of this study is to identify the main components of the cost of care in Gaucher patients (GPs) in Iran.
The Gaucher patients were identified from the Iran Food and Drug Administration (IFDA) national registry database. The direct medical costs, including medication, diagnostic services, and physician visits were considered. The prices of therapeutic and diagnostic services were extracted from Iranian medical tariff book 2014–15. Iran Food and Drug Administration determined the cost of medications.
164 Gaucher patients have been registered in Iran. A valid and reliable diagnostic tests are not used to identify the type of GD. The average health care cost per annum was 20,758 USD per patient, which is higher than 4 GDP per capita in Iran. Medication cost constitutes 95.2% of the total cost. The average cost of each GP was $1,473,818 in his/her total life.
GD is amongst the high-cost diseases and should be managed effectively. The application of oral medication for eligible GPs could improve allocative efficiency in GD management significantly. A sound, valid and reliable national clinical guideline could improve the efficiency of healthcare resources effectively. Selecting appropriate strategies for reducing the birth of a child with Gaucher, could support allocative efficiency of the limited resources effectively.
KeywordsHealth care Gaucher disease Cost Resource utilization Iran
We would like to acknowledge the IFDA staffs, particularly Dr. Zolfaghar Taghaviyan who were supportive during data collection from IFDA database.
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was approved by the Faculty of pharmacy and Research Ethics Committee of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
Conflicts of interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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