Issue: 2017 > September > original article

The current total economic burden of diabetes mellitus in the Netherlands

M.L. Peters, E.L. Huisman, M. Schoonen, B.H.R. Wolffenbuttel
AbstractFull textPDF


Introduction and aim: Insight into the total economic burden of diabetes mellitus (DM) is essential for decision makers and payers. Currently available estimates for the Netherlands only include part of the total burden or are no longer up-to-date. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the current total economic burden of DM and its complications in the Netherlands, by including all the relevant cost components.
Methods: The study combined a systematic literature review to identify all relevant published information and a targeted review to identify relevant information in the grey literature. The identified evidence was then combined to estimate the current total economic burden.
Results: In 2016, there were an estimated 1.1 million DM patients in the Netherlands, of whom approximately 10% had type 1 and 90% had type 2 DM. The estimated current total economic burden of DM was € 6.8 billion in 2016. Healthcare costs (excluding costs of complications) were € 1.6 billion, direct costs of complications were € 1.3 billion and indirect costs due to productivity losses, welfare payments and complications were € 4.0 billion.
Conclusion: DM and its complications pose a substantial economic burden to the Netherlands, which is expected to rise due to changing demographics and lifestyle. Indirect costs, such as welfare payments, accounted for a large portion of the current total economic burden of DM, while these cost components are often not included in cost estimations. Publicly available data for key cost drivers such as complications were scarce.