Due to its chronic nature with severe complications, diabetes needs costly prolonged treatment and care. The high economic burden of diabetes is particularly threatening low and middle income countries. World-wide, studies have shown that the cost of diabetes per person is much higher than the per capita health expenditure. This study is the first to estimate the direct and indirect cost of diabetes in Morocco. The direct cost of diabetes was computed by assuming three scenarios of prices (low, medium and high) due to different prices of insulin, oral drugs and other items used in diabetes treatment and care. Indirect costs of diabetes were estimated by the lifetime forgone earnings caused by premature death and disability due to diabetes. The direct cost of diabetes in Morocco was estimated to be between US $0.47 and US $1.5 billion whereas the indirect cost was estimated to be around US $2 billion accounting for 57% of the total cost of diabetes under the high cost scenario, 69% under the medium scenario and 81% under the low cost scenario. The average per capita indirect cost was estimated to be US $1113, relatively higher than the direct cost of diabetes which was seen to vary from US$ 259 to US $830. The results yielded by this study were compared to those obtained by similar studies in different regions and countries of the world. As a conclusion, the findings of this study indicate a high economic burden of diabetes and stress the importance that Moroccan health decision makers should give to sensitisation, early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes especially with the crucial growing trend of diabetes prevalence.
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