Philippine Costs in Oncology (PESO): Describing the Economic Impact of Cancer on Filipino Cancer Patients Using the ASEAN Costs in Oncology Study Dataset

  • Corazon A. Ngelangel
  • Hilton Y. Lam
  • Adovich S. Rivera
  • Merel L. Kimman
  • Irisyl O. Real
  • Soledad L. Balete
Keywords: adult patients, cancer, cohort studies, health financing, multinomial regression model, Philippines


Background. Cancers are among the top causes of mortality in the Philippines. The treatment regimens are also costly and put Filipinos at risk of financial catastrophe. The economic impact, however, has not been documented.

Objective. This analysis aimed to describe the economic impact of cancer in the Philippines and analyze predictors of financial catastrophe among Filipino cancer patients.

Method. The analysis used the dataset from the ASEAN costs in oncology study, a prospective study of adult cancer patients in Southeast Asia. Cancer patients were recruited at time of diagnosis and were monitored in terms of health outcomes, costs, and quality of life. Multinomial regression models were generated to assess predictors of death and financial catastrophe.

Results. Information from 909 respondents in the Philippines was included in the analysis. Overall, 240 (26.4%) of the cohort were dead at the end of the study while 40.6% were still alive at Month 12 but had experienced financial catastrophe. Mean combined Month 3 and Month 12 out-of-pocket expenditure was PhP181,789.00 (n = 458, sd = 348,717.47). Belonging to higher income groups (vs. belonging to the lowest two) was significantly associated with lower risk of financial catastrophe. Insurance did not confer significant change in risk of death or financial catastrophe.

Conclusion. Cancer can be a significant economic burden for Filipinos leading to financial catastrophe. Insurance mechanisms at the time of study failed to protect against catastrophe.


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