Cost of influenza and influenza-like syndromes (I-LSs) in Italy: Results of a cross-sectional telephone survey on a representative sample of general population

Publication date: Available online 4 July 2018
Source:Respiratory Medicine
Author(s): R.W. Dal Negro, P. Turco, M. Povero
ObjectivesInfluenza and Influenza-like syndromes (I-LSs) are very common events in general practice, and their relevance is frequently underestimated. Aim of the study was to assess the economic impact of influenza and Influenza-like syndromes (I-LSs) in the Italian general population by using real-world data from a retrospective database.MethodsA cross-sectional survey via Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) was carried out by using a specific questionnaire which is able to assess the rate of infectious episodes, together with subject’s behavior in case of influenza or I-LSs, and prescribed therapy. Collected data were statistically analyzed to calculate the economic impact of influenza and I-LSs episodes according to both the National Health System Perspective (NHS-P) and the Italian Families Perspective (S-P). The components of cost were: influenza vaccination, used drugs, General Practitioner (GP) visits, Emergency Room (ER) visits, hospitalizations, and productivity loss.ResultsAccording to the NHS-P, the annual cost for managing influenza or I-LSs amounted to € 60.24, corresponding to € 38.71 per episode. About 72% of the cost was due to GP/ER visits and hospitalization; 22% to drugs, and 6% to vaccination. In the IF-P, the annual cost increased to € 249.70 (€ 140.33 per episode) and almost 90% of the cost was related to workdays lost, while only 11% and 1.3% were due to drugs and vaccination, respectively. Annual cost was highly related to the mean duration of influenza or I-LSs episodes in both perspectives (€ 111─388 in IF-P and € 56─68 in NHS-P). Furthermore, the number of workdays lost due to these episodes showed a significant impact on the overall cost (€ 195─304) only in the NHS-P.ConclusionsInfluenza and I-LSs have a not negligible economic impact, both for the NHS and for the society. Resource consumption is considerable in the NHS-P, while the productivity loss due to people absenteeism causes the most relevant impact in the IF-P.