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Tuberculosis Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 747924, 6 pages
Research Article

Expenditure Pattern for TB Treatment among Patients Registered in an Urban Government DOTS Program in Chennai City, South India

1Department of Community Medicine, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai 600044, India
2National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Indian Council of Medical Research, Chennai 600031, India
3Department of Community Medicine, Sree Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai 600116, India

Received 19 July 2012; Revised 24 September 2012; Accepted 9 October 2012

Academic Editor: Jacques Grosset

Copyright © 2012 Ramya Ananthakrishnan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Tuberculosis (TB) patients registered in the government clinics under the DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course) program in Chennai city catering to about 4.3 million population. Objective. To estimate the pattern and overall costs incurred by the new patients (who have never had treatment for tuberculosis or have taken antituberculosis drugs for less than one month) registered under DOTS program in the treatment of tuberculosis in Chennai city. Methodology. A cross-sectional survey among new TB patients, who had completed intensive phase of antituberculosis treatment, was done using a precoded semi-structured questionnaire between March and June 2007. Information was collected on demographic, socioeconomic characteristics and expenditure for before and during treatment. Mean costs were used for comparison. Results. Among the 300 TB patients, most economically productive age group and 186 (62%) were males. The overall estimated total costs incurred right from the onset of symptoms until treatment completion was found to be Rs. 3211 (3.8% of annual family income) under DOTS program, which is less compared to previous studies. The overall mean total cost was significantly high among male (Rs. 3270; ), employed (Rs. 3945; ), and extrapulmonary patients (Rs. 3915; ). Conclusion. The study has reiterated the fact that DOTS helps in reducing out-of-pocket expenses to patients with tuberculosis and hence is a cost-effective health intervention. This cost reduction may help to increase the access to the poor people which would help in achieving universal access to TB care services.