The economic burden of constipation therapy
Background and aim. Constipation is a widespread condition that requires adequate therapy. Given the large use of laxatives, it is important to know the burden of the treatment of this condition on the healthcare budget.
Methods. We collected information on the number of therapeutic units (boxes) of five frequently used laxatives delivered by prescription or over the counter in 30 pharmacies randomly selected in two adjacent counties from Romania for two consecutive years. We calculated also the cost value of the laxatives delivered.
Results. The total cost of laxatives in the group of pharmacies investigated was on average 62,500 euros per year. We extrapolated that the laxative consumption in Romania should be over 15 million Euro.
Conclusions. To our knowledge this is the first study on the burden of constipation in this country. Although therapeutic units of laxatives are not expensive, the wide use of these drugs represents an economic burden for the patient.