Cost of illness of oral lichen planus in a UK population – a pilot study

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the economic burden of oral lichen planus (OLP) from the perspective of the healthcare provider in a UK population.

METHODS:

This prevalence-based cost-of-illness analysis was carried out via a cross-sectional study conducted in the Oral Medicine Unit of the Eastman Dental Hospital. This study was conducted in three phases – phase 1 involved framing of the cost-of-illness analysis, development of the cost inventory and design of the patient questionnaire for ease of data collection. Data collected from patients were inputted during phase 2, and costings were determined. The final phase consisted of the calculation of the cost of illness of OLP.

RESULTS:

One hundred patients were enrolled in the study, 30 males and 70 females, with an average age of 59.9 years (±13.4 years). The average OLP patient, based on our cohort, attends the oral medicine unit 2.64 times per year, their general medical practitioner 1.13 times annually, their general dental practitioner 0.82 times in a year and fills on average 3.37 prescriptions annually. This leads to an average annual cost of £398.58 (€541.16) per patient per year from the perspective of the healthcare provider.

CONCLUSION:

The annual average cost of OLP to the healthcare provider in the UK is substantial. The prevalence-based cost-of-illness data generated in this study will facilitate comparison with other chronic oral mucosal diseases and with chronic diseases managed in allied medical specialties.

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