Direct Medical Costs of Treating Diabetes-Related Complications in Argentina

  • Elgart J
  • De la Llave G
  • Camillucci C
  • et al.
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Objectives: Diabetes is a chronic disease, which when not treated appropriately, leads to increased risk of developing preventable complications, increasing the cost of care. This represents a heavy burden for the public health budget in Argentina. The objective was to collect direct medical costs of treating diabetes-related complications in Argentina. Methods: Following a literature review no data on the cost of diabetes-related complications were found in Argentina. To obtain robust data, we approached 3 local key opinion leaders from both social security (SS) and private (P) health care sectors with access to local databases; they covered 3 geographic areas of Argentina: Buenos Aires city (P) and Buenos Aires and Cordoba provinces (SS). Standardized forms were used for data collection and final values represent average cost of the SS and P sectors. Direct costs were classified into 6 groups: disease management, treatment of acute-events, renal-disease, eye-disease, neuropathy/foot ulcers and cardiovascular-complications. Values are presented in 2012 US-dollars per "event occurring in the first year" and annual follow up costs (exchange rate 1USD = 4.89ARS). Results: The diabetes-related complications with highest first year average costs were renal-complications (renal transplant 37,833USD; peritoneal- dialysis 24,655USD and haemodialysis 23,748USD), followed by cardiovascular related events (myocardial infarction 5,939USD; congestive heart failure 4,884USD; peripheral vascular disease 4,200USD and angina 3,799USD). The cost of an amputation procedure was 2,727USD while those of prosthesis and post-amputation follow up were 3,255USD and 1,470USD, respectively. The cost of eye-laser therapy was 449USD while a cataract procedure was 1,186USD. High costs were also associated with treatment of neuropathy (1,141USD), infected foot ulcer (747USD) and gangrene (1,684USD). Conclusions: These findings suggest that implementation of prevention strategies to reduce the development of diabetes-related complications may decrease the diabetes burden on the health care budget. Furthermore the data presented will provide useful inputs for economic evaluations in Argentina.




Elgart, J., De la Llave, G., Camillucci, C., Vega-Hernandez, G., Watkins, M., Hammerby, E., … Gagliardino, J. J. (2013). Direct Medical Costs of Treating Diabetes-Related Complications in Argentina. Value in Health, 16(7), A688.

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