A recent report on the economic costs of disease from the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health.
The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases. Geneva: World Economic Forum.
Bloom, D.E., Cafiero, E.T., Jané-Llopis, E., Abrahams-Gessel, S., Bloom, L.R., Fathima, S., Feigl, A.B., Gaziano, T., Mowafi, M., Pandya, A., Prettner, K., Rosenberg, L., Seligman, B., Stein, A.Z., & Weinstein, C. (2011).
From the Executive Summary:
Non-communicable diseases have been established as a clear threat not only to human health, but also to development and economic growth. Claiming 63% of all deaths, these diseases are currently the world’s main killer. Eighty percent of these deaths now occur in low- and middle-income countries. Half of those who die of chronic non-communicable diseases are in the prime of their productive years, and thus, the disability imposed and the lives lost are also endangering industry competitiveness across borders.
In this report, the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health try to inform and stimulate further debate by developing new estimates of the global economic burden of NCDs in 2010, and projecting the size of the burden through 2030. Three distinct approaches are used to compute the economic burden: (1) the standard cost of illness method; (2) macroeconomic simulation and (3) the value of a statistical life. This report includes not only the four major NCDs (the focus of the UN meeting), but also mental illness, which is a major contributor to the burden of disease worldwide. This evaluation takes place in the context of enormous global health spending, serious concerns about already strained public finances and worries about lacklustre economic growth. The report also tries to capture the thinking of the business community about the impact of NCDs on their enterprises.