OBJECTIVE: Understanding the costs of influenza-associated illness in Bangladesh may help health authorities assess the cost-effectiveness of influenza prevention programs. We estimated the annual economic burden of influenza-associated hospitalizations and outpatient visits in Bangladesh.
DESIGN: From May through October 2010, investigators identified both outpatients and inpatients at four tertiary hospitals with laboratory-confirmed influenza infection through rRT-PCR. Research assistants visited case-patients' homes within 30 days of hospital visit/discharge and administered a structured questionnaire to capture direct medical costs (physician consultation, hospital bed, medicines and diagnostic tests), direct non-medical costs (food, lodging and travel) and indirect costs (case-patients' and caregivers' lost income). We used WHO-Choice estimates for routine healthcare service costs. We added direct, indirect and healthcare service costs to calculate cost-per-episode. We used median cost-per-episode, published influenza-associated outpatient and hospitalization rates and Bangladesh census data to estimate the annual economic burden of influenza-associated illnesses in 2010.
RESULTS: We interviewed 132 outpatients and 41 hospitalized patients. The median cost of an influenza-associated outpatient visit was US$4.80 (IQR = 2.93-8.11) and an influenza-associated hospitalization was US$82.20 (IQR = 59.96-121.56). We estimated that influenza-associated outpatient visits resulted in US$108 million (95% CI: 76-147) in direct costs and US$59 million (95% CI: 37-91) in indirect costs; influenza-associated hospitalizations resulted in US$1.4 million (95% CI: 0.4-2.6) in direct costs and US$0.4 million (95% CI: 0.1-0.8) in indirect costs in 2010.
CONCLUSIONS: In Bangladesh, influenza-associated illnesses caused an estimated US$169 million in economic loss in 2010, largely driven by frequent but low-cost outpatient visits.
- Ambulatory Care/economics
- Child, Preschool
- Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data
- Infant, Newborn
- Influenza, Human/economics
- Middle Aged
- Orthomyxoviridae/isolation & purification
- Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Young Adult