The Asthma Cost in Oman

Nasser H. Al-Busaidi, Zulfikar Habibullah, Joan B. Soriano

Abstract


Objectives: This study evaluates the direct costs of treating asthma in Oman. Methods: Asthma prevalence and unit cost estimates were based on results from a panel using the Delphi technique, and were applied to the total Omani population aged 5 and older to obtain the number of people diagnosed with asthma. The estimates from the Delphi exercise were multiplied by the percentage of patients using government facilities to estimate the number of asthma patients managed in Oman. Treatment costs were also calculated using data from the Delphi exercise and the Asthma Insights and Reality for the Gulf and Near East study (reported in Omani riyals [OMR] and US dollars [USD]). Results: The prevalence of asthma was estimated to be 7.3% of adults (n = 96,470) and 12.7% of children (n = 58,344). Of these, 95% of both adults and children were estimated to be using government healthcare facilities. Inpatient visits accounted for the largest proportion of total direct costs (55%), followed by emergency room and outpatient visits (25% and 20%, respectively) and medications (<0.2%). The annual cost of treatment excluding medications, was OMR 34,273,696 (USD 89,111,609) for adults and OMR 27,014,735 (USD 70,238,311) for children. Including medications, the total annual direct cost of asthma treatment was estimated to be over OMR 61,500,294 (USD 159,900,761). Conclusion: Given the high medical expenditures associated with facility visits relative to the lower medication costs, the focus of Oman’s asthma cost savings should be on improving asthma control rather than reducing medication costs.


Keywords


Asthma; Cost of asthma; Asthma medications; Economy; Health service utilization; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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