Background: Smoking crack involves the risk of transmitting diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C (HCV). The current study determines whether the formerly unsanctioned supervised smoking facility (SSF)-operated by the grassroot organization, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) for the last few years-costs less than the costs incurred for health-care services as a direct consequence of not having such a program in Vancouver, Canada. Methods: The data pertaining to the attendance at the SSF was gathered in 2012-2013 by VANDU. By relying on this data, a mathematical model was employed to estimate the number of HCV infections prevented by the former facility in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES). Results: The DTES SSF's benefit-cost ratio was conservatively estimated at 12.1:1 due to its low operating cost. The study used 70% and 90% initial pipe-sharing rates for sensitivity analysis. At 80% sharing rate, the marginal HCV cases prevented were determined to be 55 cases. Moreover, at 80% sharing rate, the marginal cost-effectiveness ratio ranges from $1,705 to $97,203. The results from both the baseline and sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the establishment of the SSF by VANDU on average had annually saved CAD$1.8 million dollars in taxpayer's money. Conclusions: Funding SSFs in Vancouver is an efficient and effective use of financial resources in the public health domain; therefore, Vancouver Coastal Health should actively participate in their establishment in order to reduce HCV and other blood-borne infections such as HIV within the non-injecting drug users.
E., J., & Users, V. A. N. of D. (2014). A cost-benefit/cost-effectiveness analysis of an unsanctioned supervised smoking facility in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Canada. Harm Reduction Journal, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7517-11-30 LK - http://sfx.umd.edu/hs?sid=EMBASE&issn=14777517&id=doi:10.1186%2F1477-7517-11-30&atitle=A+cost-benefit%2Fcost-effectiveness+analysis+of+an+unsanctioned+supervised+smoking+facility+in+the+Downtown+Eastside+of+Vancouver%2C+Canada&stitle=Harm+Reduct.+J.&title=Harm+Reduction+Journal&volume=11&issue=1&spage=&epage=&aulast=Jozaghi&aufirst=Ehsan&auinit=E.&aufull=Jozaghi+E.&coden=&isbn=&pages=-&date=2014&auinit1=E&auinitm=