Economic Burden of Thalassemia Major in Iran, 2015

Firooz Esmaeilzadeh, Azita Azarkeivan, Sara Emamgholipour, Ali Akbari Sari, Mehdi Yaseri, Batoul Ahmadi, Mohtasham Ghaffari


Background: Major Thalassemia is an autosomal recessive disease with complications, mortality and serious pathology. Today, the life expectancy of patients with major thalassemia has increased along with therapeutic advances. Therefore, they need lifelong care, and caring for them would incur many costs. Being aware of the patients’ costs can be effective for controlling and managing the costs and providing efficient treatments for the care of patients. Hence, this study was conducted to estimate the economic burden of the patients with major thalassemia.

Methods: Totally, 198 patients with major thalassemia were randomly selected from among the patients with major thalassemia in Tehran, Iran in 2015. The economic burden of the patients was estimated from a social perspective and through a bottom-up, prevalence-based approach.

Results: The average annual cost per patient was estimated $ 8321.8 regardless of the cost of lost welfare. Of this amount, $ 7286.8 was related to direct medical costs, $ 461.4 to direct non-medical costs, and $ 573.5 to indirect costs. In addition, the annual cost per patient was estimated $ 1360.5 due to the distress caused by the disease

Conclusions: Considering the high costs of the treatment of patients with major thalassemia, adopting new policies to reduce the costs that patients have to pay seems necessary. In addition, making new decisions regarding thalassemia screening, even with higher costs than the usual screening costs, can be useful since the costs of treatment are high.


Cost of Illness; beta-Thalassemia Major; Health Care Costs; Iran

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