FP Analytics and the Global Initiative on Health and the Economy

The Economic Cost of Disease

  • 2015
  • 2020
  • 2025
  • 2030
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The Economic Cost of Disease

Monday, June 25, 2018 - 6:00am

The Value of Productivity

This report estimates the economic cost of health-related productivity losses, profiling eighteen countries, ranging from industrialized markets such as the United States and Japan, to developing markets such as Kenya and Indonesia.

Originally released in 2015 with the University of Victoria, the study provided an assessment of the cost of absenteeism, presenteeism, and early withdrawal from the workforce.

This year, in partnership with Foreign Policy Analytics, the study has been updated to capture the costs associated with workforce withdrawal for informal caregiving. The findings are alarming, showing a 7.7% loss in GDP in 2015, projected to rise to 8.6% of lost GDP by the year 2030. 

Economic impacts through 2030 were estimated based on projected changes in both population size and composition to capture demographic shifts and account for the impact of aging on disease burden. Across the eighteen countries, the cost of caregiving was projected to rise on average by over 25% by 2030.

Although varied, the results indicate that irrespective of their stage of development, countries are experiencing a high, and rising, degree of health-related productivity loss driven by the intersection of ageing and high burdens of chronic disease.

Even as the world makes strides in combatting communicable diseases, diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and respiratory disease that hit workers in their prime years of productivity and can create long-term chronic conditions are on the rise globally.

The short-term budget implications of this crisis are alarming. But as this data shows, the costs related to lost productivity are much more significant, and have the potential to derail needed development gains and generations of prosperity.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Initiative on Health and the Economy was created in response to this urgent need for action. With the support of our members, we are committed to combating the challenges of modern disease in partnership with governments and civil societies.

We welcome your support.