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Ehsan Zarei 1 Article
Cost of Tuberculosis Treatment: Evidence from Iran’s Health System
Vahid Bay, Payam Tabarsi, Aziz Rezapour, Sima Marzban, Ehsan Zarei
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2017;8(5):351-357.   Published online October 31, 2017
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AbstractAbstract PDF

This study aimed to estimate the cost of smear-positive drug-susceptible pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) treatment of the patients in the Azadshahr district, Golestan Province, Iran.


In this retrospective study, all new smear positive pulmonary TB patients who had been registered at the district’s health network between April, 2013 and December, 2015 and had successfully completed their treatment were entered into the study (45 patients). Treatment costs were estimated from the provider’s perspective using an activity-based costing (ABC) method.


The cost of treating a new smear-positive pulmonary TB patient was US dollar (USD) 1,409.00 (Iranian Rial, 39,438,260), which can be divided into direct and indirect costs (USD 1,226.00 [87%] and USD 183.00 [13%], respectively). The highest cost (58.1%) was related to care and management of TB patients (including 46.1% human resources costs and 12% directly-observed treatment, short course implementation) and then respectively related to hospitalization (12.1%), supportive activity centers (11.4%), transportation (6.5%), medicines (5.3%), and laboratory tests and radiography (3.2%).


Using disease-specific cost studies can help the healthcare system management to have correct insight into the financial burden created by the disease. This can subsequently be used in prioritization, planning, operational budgeting, economic evaluation of programs, interventions, and ultimately in disease management.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives