Economic Costs of Alcohol Use in Sri Lanka
Alcohol related disease conditions are responsible for a significant proportion of morbidity and mortality in Sri Lanka. This study quantified the economic cost of selected alcohol related disease conditions in Sri Lanka in 2015.
This study uses the prevalence-based cost of illness methodology specified by the World Health Organization, and uses the gross costing approach.
The direct costs includes the costs of curative care (inpatient and outpatient care borne by the state and out of pocket expenditure borne by patients) for alcohol related diseases, weighted by the respective population attributable fractions.
Indirect costs consist of lost earnings due to absenteeism of the patient and carers due to seeking care and recuperation, and the loss of income due to mortality.
Data form the Ministry of Health, Registrar General’s Department, Department of Census and Statistics and the National Cancer Registry was used. Systemic and house costs and population attributable fractions were obtained from research studies. Economists, Public Health Experts, Medical Administrators and Clinical Specialists were iteratively consulted during the estimation and validation of the costs and the results.
The estimated present value of current and future economic cost of the alcohol-related conditions for Sri Lanka in 2015 was USD 885.86 million, 1.07% of the GDP of that year.
The direct cost of alcohol related disease conditions was USD 388.35 million, which was 44% of the total cost, while the indirect cost was USD 497.50 million, which was 66% of the total cost. Road Injury cost was the highest cost category among the conditions studied.
Addressing alcohol use and its harms through effective implementation of evidence-based polices and interventions is urgently required to address the economic costs of alcohol use in Sri Lanka as it imposes a significant burden to the country.
Alcohol related conditions imposed a significant economic burden to Sri Lanka in 2015, with indirect costs (66% of total) exceeding the direct costs (44%).
Addressing alcohol use and its harms through effective implementation of evidence-based polices and interventions such as establishment of a taxation method that will continuously reduce affordability, strengthening enforcement of the current restrictions on advertising and promotions, enhancing the capacity and the priority given by the enforcement agencies to implement driving under the influence of alcohol counter measures and education of the public on different issues related to alcohol consumption is urgently required to address this economic burden,” write the authors.