Economic Impact of Cancer Measured in Europe

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Economic Burden of Cancer Quantified in Europe
Economic Burden of Cancer Quantified in Europe

(HealthDay News) -- The economic burden of cancer in the European Union (EU) was €126 billion in 2009, according to a study published online Oct. 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, D.Phil., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a population-based cost analysis to quantify the economic burden of cancer in the EU. Aggregate data from morbidity, mortality, and health care resource use were obtained from international and national sources. Health care costs were estimated from expenditure on primary, outpatient, inpatient, and emergency setting care, and drug costs. In addition, costs of unpaid care and lost productivity were estimated.

The researchers found that, in 2009, cancer cost the EU €126 billion, with health care accounting for 40% of this cost. The health care costs were equivalent to €102 per citizen, but varied from C16 to €184 per person in Bulgaria and Luxembourg, respectively. The costs of productivity losses due to premature death and lost working days were €42.6 and 9.43 billion, respectively, while informal care costs were €23.2 billion. The economic costs were €18.8 billion for lung cancer, €15 billion for breast cancer, €13.1 billion for colorectal cancer, and €8.43 billion for prostate cancer.

"These data contribute to public health and policy intelligence, which is required to deliver affordable cancer care systems and inform effective public research funds allocation," the authors write.

The study was funded by Pfizer.

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