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Comparison of the cost of illness of primary liver cancer between Japan and Taiwan


  • Yinghui Wu

    (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

  • Kunichika Matsumoto

    (Toho University School of Medicine)

  • Ya-Mei Chen

    (National Taiwan University)

  • Yu-Chi Tung

    (National Taiwan University)

  • Tzu-Ying Chiu

    (Graduate Institute of Long-term Care, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology)

  • Tomonori Hasegawa

    (Toho University School of Medicine)


Background Primary liver cancer (PLC) is the fifth and second leading cause of death in Japan and Taiwan, respectively. The aim of this study was to compare the economic burden of PLC between the two countries using the cost of illness (COI) method and identify the key factors causing the different trends in the economic burdens of PLC. Materials and methods We calculated the COI every 3 years using governmental statistics of both countries (1996–2014 data for Japan and 2002–2014 data for Taiwan). The COI was calculated by summing the direct costs, morbidity costs, and mortality costs. We compared the COIs of PLC in both countries at the USD-based cost. The average exchange rate during the targeted years was used to remove the impact of foreign exchange volatility. Results From 1996 to 2014, the COI exhibited downward and upward trends in Japan and Taiwan, respectively. In Japan, the COI in 2014 was 0.70 times the value in 1996, and in Taiwan, the COI in 2014 was 1.16 times greater than that in 1996. The mortality cost was the greatest contributor in both countries and had the largest contribution ratio to the COI increase in Japan. However, the direct cost in Taiwan had the largest contribution ratio to the COI decrease. Conclusions To date, the COI of PLC in Japan has continuously decreased, whereas that in Taiwan has increased. Previous health policies and technological developments are thought to have accelerated the COI decrease in Japan and are expected to change the trend of COI of PLC, even in Taiwan.

Suggested Citation

  • Yinghui Wu & Kunichika Matsumoto & Ya-Mei Chen & Yu-Chi Tung & Tzu-Ying Chiu & Tomonori Hasegawa, 2020. "Comparison of the cost of illness of primary liver cancer between Japan and Taiwan," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-7, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:hecrev:v:10:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-020-00296-7
    DOI: 10.1186/s13561-020-00296-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kunichika Matsumoto & Yinghui Wu & Takefumi Kitazawa & Shigeru Fujita & Kanako Seto & Tomonori Hasegawa, 2018. "Cost of illness of hepatocellular carcinoma in Japan: A time trend and future projections," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(6), pages 1-12, June.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 11th January 2021
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2021-01-11 12:00:06

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