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Free Content Economic burden of acute pesticide poisoning in South Korea

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Objectives  To investigate the magnitude and characteristics of the economic burden resulting from acute pesticide poisoning (APP) in South Korea.

Methods  The total costs of APP from a societal perspective were estimated by summing the direct medical and non‐medical costs together with the indirect costs. Direct medical costs for patients assigned a disease code of pesticide poisoning were extracted from the Korean National Health Insurance Reimbursement Data. Direct non‐medical costs were estimated using the average transportation and caregiving costs from the Korea Health Panel Survey. Indirect costs, incurred by pre‐mature deaths and work loss, were obtained using 2009 Life Tables for Korea and other relevant literature.

Results  In 2009, a total of 11 453 patients were treated for APP and 1311 died, corresponding to an incidence of 23.1 per 100 000 population and a mortality rate of 2.6 per 100 000 population in South Korea. The total costs of APP were estimated at approximately US$ 150 million, 0.3% of the costs of total diseases. Costs due to pre‐mature mortality accounted for 90.6% of the total costs, whereas the contribution of direct medical costs was relatively small.

Conclusion  Costs from APP demonstrate a unique characteristic of a large proportion of the indirect costs originating from pre‐mature mortality. This finding suggests policy implications for restrictions on lethal pesticides and safe storage to reduce fatality and cost due to APP.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea 2:  Office of Health Service Research, National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency, Seoul, South Korea 3:  Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, South Korea

Publication date: 01 December 2012

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