METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was used in this research. The data was collected via interview using a validated questionnaire. Logistic regression models were developed to discover the significant determinants of RTW and of wage loss among BC survivors.
RESULTS: A total of 256 BC survivors were included in this study. The analysis showed that there was a 21% loss of or reduction in mean income within 1 year after diagnosis. The significant predictors of RTW are being a government employee, having reduced wages or wage loss, and if the case had been diagnosed 1 year or more ago. Being a private sector employee and having a late stage of cancer was a barrier to RTW. The main risk factors for reduced wages or wage loss were belonging to the age group of 40-59 years, being of Chinese or Indian ethnicity, having low educational status, and not returning to work. However, belonging to the higher monthly income group (earning > RM 2000) is a protective factor against the risk of reduced wages or wage loss.
CONCLUSIONS: Non-RTW and wage loss after diagnosis of BC may result in the survivors experiencing a significant financial burden. Assessment of these patients is becoming more crucial because more women participate in the workforce in Malaysia nowadays and because BC is managed using multiple treatment modalities with their consequences could lead to long absences from work.
Methods: A quantitative research was carried out using the methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International (WHO/HAI). The prices were compared with international reference prices (IRPs) to obtain a median price ratio. The daily wage of the lowest paid unskilled government worker was used as the standard of the affordability for the medicines. In this study, ten medicines of the IHD were included. The data were collected from 10 private medicine outlets for both originator brand (OB) and lowest-priced generic brand (LPG) in Bangi, Selangor.
Results: From the results, the mean availability of OB and LPG were 30% and 42%, respectively. Final patient prices for LPG and OB were about 10.77 and 24.09 times their IRPs, respectively. Medicines that consumes more than a day's wage are considered unaffordable. Almost half of the IHD medications cost more than one day's wage. For example, the lowest paid unskilled government worker would need 1.4 days' wage for captopril, while 1.2 days' wage to purchase enalapril for LPG. Meanwhile, for OB, the costs rise to 3.4 days' wage for amlodipine and 3.3 days' wage for simvastatin.
Conclusion: The findings of this study emphasise the need of focusing and financing, particularly in the private sector, on making chronic disease medicines accessible. This requires multi-faceted interventions, as well as the review of policies and regulations.