Tuberculosis is one of the world`s biggest killers and the burden is skewed towards developing countries, where the relative share of this disease is largest. This has much to do with poor living conditions and less developed public health systems. Nevertheless, even with these factors taken into account, the mortality from this disease is still unjustifiably high given the fact that it is treatable in the majority of cases with relatively inexpensive drugs. There are three main reasons for this situation: a low propensity to seek healthcare when sick; poor diagnosis upon seeking care; and high levels of non-compliance with treatment when diagnosed. Taken in combination, this means that of those who seek care, some get appropriate diagnosis at their first contact, while many do not. Unfortunately, not all of those who are diagnosed actually begin treatment and of those who do, a smaller percentage actually complete it. This article will look at each of these issues, and in particular their costs, and suggest areas in which econnomics can help to develop solutions to them.
Walker, D.; Stevens, W. The economics of TB control in developing control in developing countries. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy (2003) 4 (3) 359-368.