Cost of treatment support for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis using patient-centred approaches in Ethiopia: a model-based method

Infect Dis Poverty. 2023 Jul 7;12(1):65. doi: 10.1186/s40249-023-01116-w.


Background: Patient and health system costs for treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) remain high even after treatment duration was shortened. Many patients do not finish treatment, contributing to increased transmission and antimicrobial resistance. A restructure of health services, that is more patient-centred has the potential to reduce costs and increase trust and patient satisfaction. The aim of the study is to investigate how costs would change in the delivery of MDR-TB care in Ethiopia under patient-centred and hybrid approaches compared to the current standard-of-care.

Methods: We used published data, collected from 2017 to 2020 as part of the Standard Treatment Regimen of Anti-Tuberculosis Drugs for Patients with MDR-TB (STREAM) trial, to populate a discrete event simulation (DES) model. The model was developed to represent the key characteristics of patients' clinical pathways following each of the three treatment delivery strategies. To the pathways of 1000 patients generated by the DES model we applied relevant patient cost data derived from the STREAM trial. Costs are calculated for treating patients using a 9-month MDR-TB treatment and are presented in 2021 United States dollars (USD).

Results: The patient-centred and hybrid strategies are less costly than the standard-of-care, from both a health system (by USD 219 for patient-centred and USD 276 for the hybrid strategy) and patient perspective when patients do not have a guardian (by USD 389 for patient-centred and USD 152 for the hybrid strategy). Changes in indirect costs, staff costs, transport costs, inpatient stay costs or changes in directly-observed-treatment frequency or hospitalisation duration for standard-of-care did not change our results.

Conclusion: Our findings show that patient-centred and hybrid strategies for delivering MDR-TB treatment cost less than standard-of-care and provide critical evidence that there is scope for such strategies to be implemented in routine care. These results should be used inform country-level decisions on how MDR-TB is delivered and also the design of future implementation trials.

Keywords: Affordability; Directly-observed treatment; Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; Patient-centred approach; Tuberculosis treatment delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Ethiopia
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant* / drug therapy


  • Antitubercular Agents