Economic and social cost of epilepsy in Poland: 5-year analysis

Joanna Jędrzejczak, Beata Majkowska-Zwolińska, Anna Chudzicka-Bator*, Iwona Żerda, Magdalena Władysiuk, Brian Godman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Epilepsy affects nearly 50 million people around the world. As a common and chronic disease generates a high cost burden for healthcare system and patients. Aim: We aimed to determine the most current direct and indirect costs of epilepsy in Poland from the social perspective for the years 2014–2018, to analyze the changes of expenditures over time, indicate trends and to determine key cost-drivers. Material and Methods: Direct and indirect costs using a top-down approach were estimated based on the public institutions’ data for the ICD-10 codes G40 and G41. Direct costs included pharmacotherapy, hospitalizations, outpatient specialist care and rehabilitation. A human capital approach was used to estimate loss of productivity due to sick leaves and long-term inability to work. Results: Annual total direct and indirect costs related to epilepsy accounted for EUR 410 million in 2014 and decreased in subsequent years to EUR 361 million in 2018. The indirect costs were dominant (76–83% of total costs) and in the majority related to the long-term absenteeism (87–92% of total indirect costs). In 2014–2018, patients with epilepsy generated EUR 341 million to EUR 282 million of indirect costs. Annual direct costs for patients with epilepsy were EUR 69 million in 2014 and increased to EUR 80 million in 2018. The biggest expenses were the costs of drugs (> 50%) and hospitalizations (~ 40%). Conclusions: Epilepsy is an expensive disorder in terms of consumption of resources and social costs. Decision-makers should take it under special consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-497
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Absenteeism
  • Direct costs
  • Epilepsy
  • Indirect costs
  • Productivity loss


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