Cost for the treatment of actinic keratosis on the rise in Australia
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Objectives: To report the burden and cost of actinic keratosis (AK) treatment in Australia and to forecast the number of AK treatments and the associated costs to 2020. Design and setting: A retrospective study of data obtained from medicare Australia for AK treated by cryotherapy between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 2012, by year and by state or territory. Results: The total number of AK cryotherapy treatments increased from 247,515 in 1994 to 643,622 in 2012, and we estimate that the number of treatments will increase to 831,952 (95% CI 676,919 to 986,987) by 2020. The total Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) benefits paid out for AK in 2012 was $19.6 million and we forecast that this will increase to $24.7 million by 2020 (without inflation). Conclusion: The number of AK cryotherapy treatments increased by 160% between 1994 and 2012. we forecast that the number of treatments will increase by 30% between 2012 and 2020. The rates of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and AK appear to be increasing at the same rate. During the period 2010 to 2015 AK is anticipated to increase by 17.8% which follows a similar trend to published data that forecasts an increase in NMSC treatments of 22.3%.
Copyright 2014 Perera E et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Data associated with the article are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Zero "No rights reserved" data waiver (CC0 1.0 Public domain dedication).
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