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Research Paper Open Access
The aims of this study were to determine the total cost of drug treatment in patients of rheumatoid arthritis, to estimate the costs of management of gastrointestinal side effects of non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs and to estimate the cost of monitoring the side-effects of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. The original prescription of the patients was used to calculate the direct cost of treatment. For calculating the indirect cost, the patients were interviewed. The cost of monitoring the side-effects was also calculated from the patient records. The study was carried in out patient department of a government teaching hospital. A total of 96 patients were recruited in this study between August-November 2003. The average total cost of drug treatment was found to be Rs.999±76 per month. The average monthly direct cost of rheumatoid arthritis was estimated to be Rs. 623±31. The average indirect cost was found to be Rs.368±62 per month. The average iatrogenic cost factor value was found to be 1.78. The average monthly cost of monitoring side-effects in patients prescribed with disease modifying antirheumatic drugs was Rs. 57 per patient. The study provides preliminary results for costs of drug treatment and monitoring in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.