Background: Frequent relapses sometimes necessitating hospitalization and the absence of pharmacological cure contribute to substantial healthcare costs in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). The costs of health care in Indian patients with IBD are unknown. Aim: To evaluate the annual costs for treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Methods: A prevalence-based, micro-costing method was used to assess the components of annual costs in a prospective, observational study conducted in a tertiary healthcare center enrolled over a 24-month period beginning of July 2014. Results: At enrollment, 43/59 (72.88%) patients with UC and 18/25 (72%) with CD were in remission. The annual median (IQR) cost per UC and CD patient in remission was INR 43,140 (34,357–51,031) [USD $707 (563–836)] and INR 43,763.5 (32,202–57,372) [USD $717 (527–940)], respectively, and in active disease was INR 52,436.5 (49,229–67,567.75) [$859 (807–1107)] and INR 72,145 (49,447–92,212) [USD $1182 (811–1512)], respectively. Compared with remission, active disease had a 1.4-fold higher cost for CD as compared to UC. In both groups, the greatest component of direct costs was drugs. Thirteen (22%) and 7 (28%) patients with UC and CD needed hospitalization accounting for 23.1 and 20.4% of the total costs, respectively. At one year, direct costs surmounted indirect costs in UC and CD (p < 0.001). Productivity losses contributed to 18.5 and 16% of the overall costs for UC and CD, respectively. Conclusion: This first, panoptic, health economic study for IBD from India shows that the costs are driven by medication, productivity losses, and not merely hospitalization alone.
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