Economic Studies in Colorectal Cancer: Challenges in Measuring and Comparing Costs
ABSTRACT Estimates of the costs associated with cancer care are essential both for assessing burden of disease at the population level and for conducting economic evaluations of interventions to prevent, detect, or treat cancer. Comparisons of cancer costs between health systems and across countries can improve understanding of the economic consequences of different health-care policies and programs. We conducted a structured review of the published literature on colorectal cancer (CRC) costs, including direct medical, direct nonmedical (ie, patient and caregiver time, travel), and productivity losses. We used MEDLINE to identify English language articles published between 2000 and 2010 and found 55 studies. The majority were conducted in the United States (52.7%), followed by France (12.7%), Canada (10.9%), the United Kingdom (9.1%), and other countries (9.1%). Almost 90% of studies estimated direct medical costs, but few studies estimated patient or caregiver time costs or productivity losses associated with CRC. Within a country, we found significant heterogeneity across the studies in populations examined, health-care delivery settings, methods for identifying incident and prevalent patients, types of medical services included, and analyses. Consequently, findings from studies with seemingly the same objective (eg, costs of chemotherapy in year following CRC diagnosis) are difficult to compare. Across countries, aggregate and patient-level estimates vary in so many respects that they are almost impossible to compare. Our findings suggest that valid cost comparisons should be based on studies with explicit standardization of populations, services, measures of costs, and methods with the goal of comparability within or between health systems or countries. Expected increases in CRC prevalence and costs in the future highlight the importance of such studies for informing health-care policy and program planning.
- JNCI Monographs 08/2013; 2013(46):124-30. DOI:10.1093/jncimonographs/lgt011
- JNCI Monographs 08/2013; 2013(46):1-6. DOI:10.1093/jncimonographs/lgt005
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ABSTRACT: Objectives. This cross-sectional study estimates the resource use and costs among prevalent colorectal cancer (CRC) patients in different states of the disease. Methods. Altogether 508 Finnish CRC patients (aged 26-96; colon cancer 56%; female 47%) answered a questionnaire enquiring about informal care, work capacity, and demographic factors. Furthermore, data on direct medical resource use and productivity costs were obtained from registries. Patients were divided into five mutually exclusive groups based on the disease state and the time from diagnosis: primary treatments (the first six months after the diagnosis), rehabilitation, remission, metastatic disease, and palliative care. The costs were calculated for a six-month period. Multivariate modeling was performed to find the cost drivers. Results. The costs were highest during the primary treatment state and the advanced disease states. The total costs for the cross-sectional six-month period were €22 200 in the primary treatment state, €2106 in the rehabilitation state, €2812 in the remission state, €20 540 in the metastatic state, and €21 146 in the palliative state. Most of the costs were direct medical costs. The informal care cost was highest per patient in the palliative care state, amounting to 33% of the total costs. The productivity costs varied between disease states, constituting 19-40% of the total costs, and were highest in the primary treatment state. Conclusions. The first six months after the diagnosis of CRC are resource intensive, but compared with the metastatic disease state, which lasts on average for 2-3 years, the costs are rather modest. Informal care constitutes a remarkable share of the total costs, especially in the palliative state. These results form a basis for the evaluation of the cost effectiveness of new treatments when allocating resources in CRC treatment.Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014; 54(4):1-9. DOI:10.3109/0284186X.2014.985797 · 3.71 Impact Factor