Tata Memorial Center Releases Oral Cancer Treatment Cost Study in India

The country spent around Rs 2,386 crore in 2020 on oral cancer treatment

The Tata Memorial Center has published a one-of-a-kind study on the cost of oral cancer disease and treatment in India. A team from the Tata Memorial Center, led by Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, set out to conduct a cost-of-illness analysis that would provide invaluable information to policy makers who appropriately allocate resources to the fight against cancer. This is the first such study in India and among a handful worldwide, whose estimates were calculated using a bottom-up approach where data was collected prospectively for each service as used. . This huge collection of data helped determine the direct health costs of oral cancer treatment, that is, the cost per patient incurred by a health care provider that is directly attributable to the treatment of oral cancer. the mouth.

Dr Arjun Singh, a researcher at Tata Memorial Hospital and lead author of the study, said the unit cost of treating advanced stages (Rs 2,02,892) was 42% higher than that of early stages (Rs 1,17,135 ). At the same time, there was an average 11% reduction in unit costs, as socioeconomic status improved. Medical equipment accounted for 97.8 percent of capital costs, with the main contributor being radiology services which included CT, MRI and PET scans. Variable costs that included consumables for late stage surgery were 1.4 times higher than at early stage. With the addition of additional chemotherapy and radiation therapy to surgery, the average cost of treatment increased by 44.6 percent.

Dr RA Badwe, Director of the Tata Memorial Center, said: “According to statistics from GLOBOCAN, the rate of new cases diagnosed has increased by 68% in the last two decades alone, making it a real public health crisis. . In addition, accessibility to health services is poor, which, together with poor health literacy, means that the majority of cases present with advanced disease that is often difficult to treat. ”

About 60 to 80 percent of oral cancer cases see their advanced oncologist. By multiplying the cost per unit of early and advanced cancer according to the study results, India spent around Rs. 2,386 crore in 2020 on oral cancer treatment, paid for by insurance plans, government spending. government and private sector, direct payments and charitable donations or a combination of these. This is a significant portion of the health budget allocation that the government allocated in 2019-2020 to a single disease. Without any cost inflation, this will translate into an economic burden on the country of Rs 23,724 crore over the next ten years. This difficult economic impact of oral cancer treatment strongly suggests that prevention must be one of the primary mitigation strategies to address affordability.

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