Canada: Insite Can Save Health Care System $20 Million -- Study
November 19, 2008
A new computer simulation model study shows Vancouver's supervised injection facility Insite can save the city $20 million (US $16 million) in health care costs and boost its population's lifespan over a 10-year period.
In the study, Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and the University of Toronto and colleagues measured the projected impact on Vancouver over the next decade with and without Insite. When the only impact of the controversial facility is assumed to be a decrease in the prevalence of needle sharing by injecting drug users, the projected net savings is nearly $14 million (US $11.3 million) over 10 years. Compared with a model that had no such facility, Insite adds 920 life-years.
When the researchers included factors like incidence of HIV and hepatitis C, survival rates and the frequency of referrals to social services like methadone treatment, the financial saving increases to as much as $20 million (US $16 million) and the number of life-years saved peaks at 1,070.
Insite, the only facility of its kind in North America, could avert a total of 1,191 cases of HIV and 54 cases of hepatitis C over a decade, the researchers found.
"Vancouver's supervised injection site is associated with improved health and cost savings, even with conservative estimates of efficacy," the authors concluded.
The study, "The Cost-Effectiveness of Vancouver's Supervised Injection Facility," was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (2008;179(11):doi:10.1503/cmaj.080808).
11.18.2008; Linda Nguyen
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.