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Eur Respir J. 2014 Feb;43(2):554-65. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00079413. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Costs of tuberculosis disease in the European Union: a systematic analysis and cost calculation.

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University Medical Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Airway Research Center North, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Kiel.


Without better vaccines it is unlikely that tuberculosis (TB) will ever be eliminated. An investment of ∼ €560 million is considered necessary to develop a new, effective vaccine in the European Union (EU). However, less is known about the costs of TB disease in the EU. We performed a systematic review of literature and institutional websites addressing the 27 EU members to summarise cost data. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane bibliographies for relevant articles. Combining direct and indirect costs, we arrived at an average per-TB case costs in the original EU-15 states plus Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia of €10 282 for drug-susceptible TB, €57 213 for multidrug resistant (MDR)-TB and €170 744 for extensively drug resistant (XDR)-TB. In the remaining new EU states, costs amounted to €3427 for drug-susceptible TB and €24 166 for MDR-TB/XDR-TB. For the 70 340 susceptible TB cases, 1488 MDR-TB and 136 XDR-TB cases notified in 2011 costs of €536 890 315 accumulated in 2012. In the same year, the 103 104 disability-adjusted life years caused by these cases, when stated in monetary terms, amounted to a total of €5 361 408 000. Thus, the resulting economic burden of TB in the EU clearly outweighs the cost of investing in more efficient vaccines against TB.

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