Kyriakos Souliotis, Chara Kani, Androniki Marioli, Aggeliki Kamboukou, Aikaterini Prinou, Konstantinos Syrigos, Sophia Markantonis

Introduction: Lung cancer exerts a significant societal and health-care-related economic burden and chemotherapy drugs constitute a major factor of total direct cost. The aim of the present study was to assess the direct health-care cost of lung cancer in Greece by conducting a retrospective analysis on the last 6 months of life.

Methods: The present study was based on both the medical data and costs of treatment of deceased adult patients who suffered from terminal stage IIIB/IV lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer) during the last 6 months of their life. The study’s protocol was approved by the Hospital’s Research Ethics Committee. Costs included outpatient (outpatient services) and inpatient (inpatient services) costs. Descriptive statistics were mainly used for statistical analysis.

Results: The files of 144 patients were analyzed. The total cost of health-care services for the study population during the last 6 months of life was attributed by 57% to inpatient services, whereas chemotherapy costs (74%) comprised the largest proportion of the total inpatient cost. The highest expenditure for outpatient services was attributed to concomitant medication (59%), followed by the cost of tests (21%) and radiotherapy (20%).

Conclusions: The results of our study indicate that both inpatient and outpatient costs were substantial. The main inpatient and outpatient cost drivers were chemotherapy and concomitant medication, respectively. A more comprehensive nationwide study would be useful to validate our results and to include also indirect costs of cancer care in Greece.

Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology, 6, 1-9, 2019