The value of effective public tuberculosis treatment: An analysis of opportunity costs associated with multidrug resistant tuberculosis in Latvia

Thaddeus L. Miller, Andra Cirule, Fernando A. Wilson, Timothy H. Holtz, Vija Riekstina, Kevin P. Cain, Patrick K. Moonan, Vaira Leimane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: A challenge to effective protection against tuberculosis is to sustain expensive and complex treatment public programs. Potential consequences of program failure include acquired drug resistance, poor patient outcomes, and potentially much higher system costs, however. In contrast, effective efforts have value illustrated by impacts they prevent. We compared the healthcare costs and treatment outcomes among multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and non MDR-TB patients in Latvia to identify benefits or costs associated with both.Methods: We measured and compared costs, healthcare utilization, and outcomes for patients who began treatment through Latvia's TB control program in 2002 using multivariate regression analysis and negative binomial regression.Results: We analyzed data for 92 MDR-TB and 54 non MDR-TB patients. Most (67%) MDR-TB patients had history of prior tuberculosis treatment. MDR-TB was associated with lower cure rates (71% vs. 91%) and greater resource utilization. MDR-TB treatment cost almost $20,000 more than non MDR-TB.Conclusion: Up to 2/3 of MDR-TB treated in our sample was preventable at a potential savings of over $1.3 million in healthcare resources as well as substantial individual health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalCost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 17 2013



  • Cost analysis
  • Evidence based policy
  • Health economics
  • Tuberculosis cost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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