OBJECTIVES. Acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) appears to be the main reason of hospitalization in COPD patients. Since substantial economic burden of COPD have not been previously studied in Malaysia, this study aimed at estimating and identifying different costs and related burden of illness in patients receiving treatment of AECOPD in a tertiary care hospital in Malaysia.
METHODS. A prospective follow-up study was performed in Department of Accident and Emergency and Respiratory Medicine of the hospital. Data were derived on the basis of per exacerbation episode. Relationship between direct medical costs and disease severity was analyzed using various descriptive and inferential statistical approaches.
RESULTS. Median actual direct medical costs and out-of-pocket costs were RM 457.68 (US$ 141.97) and RM 28.25 (US$ 8.76) per exacerbation respectively. Drug cost (41%) was the leading cost driver, followed by unit cost of treatment per bed (33.6%) and lab investigation cost (25.4%). However, food cost (44.2%) represented the largest proportion in out-of-pocket costs. More than 90% of actual direct medical costs were supported by the Government of Malaysia in the patients studied.
CONCLUSIONS. Impacts of AECOPD in health care resources are worthy of attention. Cost information from pharmacoeconomic studies is important in decision making for health care professionals and policy makers in order to improve health care outcome and minimize costs.
Widespread evidence has demonstrated the negative effects of tobacco smoking in patients with diabetes. Although many studies have explored the prevalence of tobacco smoking in the general population, data are lacking regarding its prevalence in a specific population with a chronic disease such as diabetes.
Objectives: This study aims to determine the prevalence of tobacco smoking among patients with diabetes in Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted to study diabetic patients who attended the endocrine clinic at Hospital Pulau Pinang in Malaysia from March to August 2012. All the diabetic patients who attended the endocrine clinic during that period were asked about their smoking status, and their medical records were reviewed. A total of 1,118 patients with diabetes were reviewed to determine the prevalence of tobacco smoking in diabetic patients at the endocrine clinic of Hospital Pulau Pinang.
Results: The majority of the study population was male, with Malay and Chinese patients in almost equal proportions and a smaller proportion of Indian patients. Most of these patients had started smoking before they were diagnosed with diabetes. Among the 1,118 diabetic patients, only 108 patients smoked; therefore, the prevalence of tobacco smoking in our patients with diabetes was 9.66%.
Conclusions: A low prevalence of tobacco smoking was estimated in this study. This prevalence is close to the corresponding value in the general population in Malaysia.
Study site: Endocrine clinic, Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge and perception of medical and pharmacy students toward the usage of sunblock as skin protection against ultraviolet (UV).
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among the undergraduate final year medical and pharmacy students at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). Validated questionnaire were used to collect the data. The questionnaires were distributed to 134 students from medicine and 100 pharmacy students. Descriptive and inferential statistics are used whenever appropriate.
Results: Overall, 161 participants out of a total of 234 completed the questionnaire with 101 medical students (75.4%) and 60 pharmacy students (60.0%). Majority of the respondents were female 64 (63.4%) and 37 (36.6%) were male. The median of knowledge scores of the final year medical students was significantly lower than the final year pharmacy students (p<0.01). There is no significant differnce between the knowledge of the female and male students (Mann Whitney U Test value = 0.27, p<0.01). This study reported that 24 (39.3 %) of pharmacy students were influenced by the media to use sunblock whereas 35 (34.7%) of medical students had the highest influence from friends to use sunblock. However, this study showed there was no significant difference in the perception of pharmacy and medical students p=0.020.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the knowledge of pharmacy students is significantly higher than the knowledge of medical students had on the usage of sunblock. Both medical and pharmacy students have the same level of perception towards the usage of sunblock.
Objectives: To assess the feasibility of a computer-based Standard Gamble (SG) visual prop whilst measuring utilities of different asthma health states at the same time.
Methods: Twenty adult asthma patients literate in either Malay or English language were conveniently sampled from a public hospital in Penang, Malaysia. They were interviewed by two trained interviewers using a bilingual script. Each patient was requested to value the given health states using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) prior to SG exercise. There were three chronic health states (C1-C3) for 10 years, three temporary states (T1-T3) for 3 months, and two anchor states (healthy and dead). During the SG exercise, the visual prop was fully operated by the interviewers. The probability of being in a worse state was changed in a ‘ping-pong’ fashion until the indifference point was reached.
Results: All patients understood the SG exercise and rated SG easier than VAS. Around 85% (n=17) completed SG within 30 minutes. There was 90% (n=18) who ranked T3 as the worst temporary health state during VAS. Two patients provided logical inconsistency data in SG. The preferences by SG were higher than VAS. Preferences were also higher in temporary states measured by chained SG than other states by conventional SG. The mean utilities for C1=0.56 (SD 0.38), C2=0.47 (SD 0.33), C3=0.53 (SD 0.38), T1=0.65 (SD 0.31), T2=0.53 (SD 0.35), and T3=0.38 (SD 0.38).
Conclusions: The SG methods including the props are feasible for utilities measurement in asthma, based on the agreements achieved with other studies on the pattern of utilities measured in this preliminary study.
Objectives: To evaluate physician’s knowledge and adherence to asthma guideline adherence (GINA 2011) at emergency department of Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia and to calculate cost of adhered and non-adhered prescriptions
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted to evaluate knowledge of GINA, 2011 asthma guideline at emergency department of Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. A total of 810 patient prescriptions of 27 doctors (30 prescriptions per doctor) were viewed to asses doctor’s guideline adherence. Patients’ prescriptions were categorised in terms of asthma severity as mild, moderate and severe. Prescriptions were labelled as adhered or non-adhered in terms of doctor treatment according to patient asthma severity as recommended by CPG (GINA 2011). Cost of adhered and non-adhered was calculated according to asthma severity.
Results: Twenty two (81.5%) doctor’s had adequate GINA, 2011 asthma guideline knowledge (Mean 16.7, SD ± 1.5). Six hundred and twenty eight (77.5%) patients received guideline (GINA 2011) adhered pharmacotherapy. Six hundred and seventy eight (83.7%) patients asthma were classified as mild asthma, 128 (15.8%) patients were classified as moderate asthma and 4 (0.5%) patients were classified as severe asthma. Pearson correlation indicated no statistical significant association between asthma guideline adherence and asthma guideline knowledge score (p=0.27). Univariate analysis indicate that patients with age group 25-35 years and with hypertension as co-morbidity received significantly better pharmacotherapy (p=0.04, p=0.03 respectively). Total cost of 628 adhered prescriptions was RM 5792.87 whereas cost of 182 non-adhered prescriptions was RM 1759.09. Cost of single mild asthma adhered prescription (RM 9.18) was less as compared to non adhered mild asthma prescription (RM 10.39).
Conclusions: Emergency doctor’s had adequate GINA, 2011 asthma guideline knowledge. Majority of patients received GINA, 2011 asthma guideline adhered pharmacotherapy. Cost effective medication can significantly reduce socioeconomic burden related to asthma.
Objectives: Systematic anticoagulation management clinic is now recommended to manage warfarinized atrial fibrillation (AF) patient. In Malaysia, the service is recently introduced as pharmacist managed Warfarin Medication Therapy Adherence Clinic (WMTAC). The objective of the present study was to assess the cost effectiveness of anticoagulation clinic in comparison with usual medical in Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Methods: A Markov model built using the provider perspective and 20 year time horizon was used to assess the cost effectiveness. The base case analysis assumed a cohort of patients with AF 57 years of age with comorbid illnesses. Data sources include a 6 month retrospective cohort analysis of the effectiveness of the clinics, the cost of drugs, cost of personnel and space of the clinics, cost of monitoring and cost of adverse events were obtained from the local source and publications. The transition probabilities of these clinics outcomes were obtained from a literature search. Future costs were discounted by 3% to convert to present values. All costs were in Ringgit Malaysia (RM) based on year 2012.
Results: The results of a 20-year period model showed that UMC was dominated by the WMTAC in the same time period. The mean cost of the WMTAC was RM 5864 whereas the UMC cost was RM 6550. The sensitivity analysis showed that clinic treatment costs and effectiveness influenced the cost-effectiveness. If the cost of WMTAC was increased by 50% of the current cost, the WMTAC would not be a dominant intervention. WMTAC was also cost effective for a willingness to pay of RM32000.
Conclusions: The anticoagulation management service appears to cost less and provide greater effectiveness than usual care. In conclusion, the Markov model suggests that from the provider perspective the anticoagulation clinic is a more cost effective option than the usual medical clinic in Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Study site: Medication Therapy Adherence Clinic, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Objectives: The cost of acute exacerbations of asthma had not been well studied in literature. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the (average) cost of moderate and severe exacerbations of asthma in patients attending tertiary-care setup in Malaysia. The related burden of exacerbations was also calculated.
Methods: The costs including lab investigation charges, unit costs of treatment per bed, medication charges, food costs, transportation costs and loss of productivity were calculated per asthma episode. Data was analysed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18.0 using various descriptive and inferential statistical tests.
Results: A median medical cost of acute exacerbation of asthma under Ministry of Health’s (MOH) perspective was USD 105.00 (RM338.47) per episode. Medication cost comprised the majority (52.38%) of the total medical costs. A median medical cost of acute exacerbation of asthma under patient’s perspective was USD 1.55 (RM4.99) per episode. ConclusionsAsthma exacerbation and length of stay in the hospital were proportional to the direct medical costs. In Malaysia, a substantial proportion of the direct medical cost of asthma treatment is heavily subsidised for the locals.
Objectives: Warfarin use in atrial fibrillation has been established for preventing occurrence of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, safety and clinical monitoring of warfarin use is crucial due to its risk of bleeding complications. This study aims to compare and establish relation of time in therapeutic range (TTR) of warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation in the first 6 months and 6 month thereafter of anticoagulation therapy.
Methods: This is a retrospective study carried out at a tertiary-care hospital with anticoagulation clinic in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. Data collected included patients’ demographics, co-morbidities, and international normalized ratio (INR). TTR were determined using Rosendaal method based on records found in database (INR Desk 4.0 system) and patients’ hemorrhage events were also recorded. Samples of the study were patient who started warfarin from January 2009 until March 2013.
Results: A total of 167 patients with atrial fibrillation were enrolled and only 6% (n=10) achieved TTR of more than 75% for the first 6 months of warfarin use as compared to 16.8% (n=28) of TTR more than 75% 6 months thereafter. As for bleeding incidences, 29% (n=45) of patients in the group of TTR less than 75% in the first 6 months had bleeding complications as compared to 18.7% (n=26) in patients of TTR less than 75% 6 months after.
Conclusions: A more regular follow up is necessary during the first 6 months of new warfarin users as they tend to be out of the TTR and have a higher bleeding risk.
Study site: anticoagulation clinic, tertiary hospital, Selangor, Malaysia