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Pharmacoeconomics. 1993 Jul;4(1):14-30.

The economic costs of asthma: a review and conceptual model.

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  • 1Departments of Health Care Sciences and Medicine, George Washington University, Washington, DC.


There is a growing international concern about increasing asthma morbidity. While much is known about asthma morbidity, there are few available data on the economic burden of this condition, particularly in underdeveloped countries. In the absence of data on social costs, it is not possible to develop rational approaches to policies regarding resource allocation to reduce morbidity. The purpose of this article is to provide a review of the available literature on the social costs of illness for asthma. In light of this literature, we propose a conceptual model that links asthma morbidity to the social opportunity costs of the disease. We then delineate a framework, based on the proposed model, that can be used to conceptualise and evaluate the relative impact of alternative asthma intervention strategies. Based upon proposed analyses using this model, we believe that it would be possible to compare how various intervention strategies are likely to affect asthma costs and morbidity, thus providing a means for a more rational approach to healthcare policies regarding societal resource allocation for asthma.

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