BackgroundThailand faces a significant burden in terms of treating and managing degenerative and chronic diseases. Moreover, incidences of rare diseases are rising. Many of these—such as diabetes, cancer, and inherited inborn metabolic diseases—have no definite treatments or cure. Meanwhile, advanced health biotechnology has been found, in principle, to be an effective solution for these health problems.MethodsQualitative approaches were employed to analyse the current situation and examine existing public policies related to advanced health biotechnologies in Thailand. The results of this analysis were then used to formulate policy recommendations.ResultsOur research revealed that the system in Thailand in relation to advanced health biotechnologies is fragmented, with multiple unaddressed gaps, underfunding of research and development (R&D), and a lack of incentives for the private sector. In addition, there are no clear definitions of advanced health biotechnologies, and coverage pathways are absent. Meanwhile, false advertising and misinformation are prevalent, with no responsible bodies to actively and effectively provide appropriate information and education (I&E). The establishment of a specialised institution to fill the gaps in this area is warranted.ConclusionThe development and implementation of a comprehensive national strategic plan related to advanced health biotechnologies, greater investment in R&D and I&E for all stakeholders, collaboration among agencies, harmonisation of reimbursement across public health schemes, and provision of targeted I&E are specifically recommended.
BackgroundInformation on the economic impact of alcohol consumption can provide important evidence in supporting policies to reduce its associated harm. To date, several studies on the economic costs of alcohol consumption have been conducted worldwide. This study aims to review the economic impact of alcohol worldwide, summarizing the state of knowledge with regard to two elements: (1) cost components included in the estimation; (2) the methodologies employed in works conducted to date.MethodsRelevant publications concerning the societal cost of alcohol consumption published during the years 1990-2007 were identified through MEDLINE. The World Health Organization's global status report on alcohol, bibliographies and expert communications were also used to identify additional relevant studies.ResultsTwenty studies met the inclusion criteria for full review while an additional two studies were considered for partial review. Most studies employed the human capital approach and estimated the gross cost of alcohol consumption. Both direct and indirect costs were taken into account in all studies while intangible costs were incorporated in only a few studies. The economic burden of alcohol in the 12 selected countries was estimated to equate to 0.45 - 5.44% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).ConclusionDiscrepancies in the estimation method and cost components included in the analyses limit a direct comparison across studies. The findings, however, consistently confirmed that the economic burden of alcohol on society is substantial. Given the importance of this issue and the limitation in generalizing the findings across different settings, further well-designed research studies are warranted in specific countries to support the formulation of alcohol-related policies.
Purpose Cytokine storm, an uncontrolled overproduction of inflammatory cytokines contributing to an aberrant systemic inflammatory response, is a major pathological feature of acute respiratory distress syndromes being severe manifestations of COVID-19, thus highlighting its potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target for COVID-19. We aimed to determine associations of circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines with severity and mortality of COVID-19 by systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods A comprehensive literature search in electronic databases consisting of PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library and in a hand searching of reference lists from inception to July 31, 2020, was performed using the following search terms: COVID-19, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Mean difference (MD) from individual studies was pooled using a random-effects model. Quality assessment, publication bias, meta-regression, subgroup, and sensitivity analyses were performed. Results A total of 6212 COVID-19 patients from 24 eligible studies were included. Compared with non-severe COVID-19 patients, systemic levels of IL-6 and IL-10, but not TNF-α, were significantly elevated in severe COVID-19 patients (MD = 18.63, 95% CI: 10.91, 26.35, P < 0.00001; MD = 2.61, 95% CI: 2.00, 2.32, P < 0.00001; respectively). For COVID-19 mortality, circulating levels of IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α were found to be significantly increased in non-survivors when compared with survivors (MD = 57.82, 95% CI: 10.04, 105.59, P = 0.02; MD = 4.94, 95% CI: 3.89, 6.00, P < 0.00001; MD = 5.60, 95% CI: 4.03, 7.17, P < 0.00001; respectively). Conclusion Circulating levels of IL-6 and IL-10 might have great potential as biomarkers for the disease severity and mortality in COVID-19 patients. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10875-020-00899-z.
BackgroundThere is evidence that the adverse consequences of alcohol impose a substantial economic burden on societies worldwide. Given the lack of generalizability of study results across different settings, many attempts have been made to estimate the economic costs of alcohol for various settings; however, these have mostly been confined to industrialized countries. To our knowledge, there are a very limited number of well-designed studies which estimate the economic costs of alcohol consumption in developing countries, including Thailand. Therefore, this study aims to estimate these economic costs, in Thailand, 2006.MethodsThis is a prevalence-based, cost-of-illness study. The estimated costs in this study included both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs included health care costs, costs of law enforcement, and costs of property damage due to road-traffic accidents. Indirect costs included costs of productivity loss due to premature mortality, and costs of reduced productivity due to absenteeism and presenteeism (reduced on-the-job productivity).ResultsThe total economic cost of alcohol consumption in Thailand in 2006 was estimated at 156,105.4 million baht (9,627 million US$ PPP) or about 1.99% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Indirect costs outweigh direct costs, representing 96% of the total cost. The largest cost attributable to alcohol consumption is that of productivity loss due to premature mortality (104,128 million baht/6,422 million US$ PPP), followed by cost of productivity loss due to reduced productivity (45,464.6 million baht/2,804 million US$ PPP), health care cost (5,491.2 million baht/339 million US$ PPP), cost of property damage as a result of road traffic accidents (779.4 million baht/48 million US$ PPP), and cost of law enforcement (242.4 million baht/15 million US$ PPP), respectively. The results from the sensitivity analysis revealed that the cost ranges from 115,160.4 million baht to 214,053.0 million baht (7,102.1 - 13,201 million US$ PPP) depending on the methods and assumptions employed.ConclusionsAlcohol imposes a substantial economic burden on Thai society, and according to these findings, the Thai government needs to pay significantly more attention to implementing more effective alcohol policies/interventions in order to reduce the negative consequences associated with alcohol.
Background: This study aimed to examine the level of knowledge, attitude, acceptance, and willingness to pay (WTP) for HPV vaccination among female parents of girls aged 12-15 years in Thailand. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in eight schools across Bangkok. Results: Of 1,200 questionnaires sent out, a total of 861 questionnaires were received. Knowledge regarding the HPV vaccine among parents was quite low. Only half of the parents knew about the link between HPV and cervical cancer while one-third of them knew that the vaccine should be administered to the children before they become sexually active. Nevertheless, vaccine acceptance was high if it was offered for free: 76.9% for the bivalent and 74.4% for the quadrivalent vaccine. The proportion of respondents who were willing to copay for the vaccine if it was not totally free was also high, ranging from 68.9% for the bivalent to 67.3% for the quadrivalent vaccine. No significant difference between bivalent and quadrivalent vaccines in terms of prevalence of acceptance and willingness to pay was found. About one-third of the participants, who were willing to copay for the vaccine if it was not offered for free, indicated that they would copay less than 500 baht (30 baht = approx US$1) for three doses of bivalent vaccine. Conclusions: Substantial effort should be made to educate parents prior to introduction of a national HPV vaccination program. In terms of acceptance, either bivalent or quadrivalent vaccines can be recommended.
Objectives: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and associated ailments are leading economic burdens to society. Sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are recent antidiabetic medications with beneficial clinical efficacy. This meta-analysis was conducted to quantitatively pool the incremental net benefit of SGLT2 inhibitors in T2DM patients who failed metformin monotherapy.Methods: Relevant economic evaluation studies of T2DM patients were identified from PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, the Cochrane Library, and the Tufts Cost-Effective Analysis Registry until June 2018. Studies were eligible if they studied T2DM patients who failed metformin monotherapy and assessed the cost-effectiveness/utility between SGLT2 inhibitors and other treatments. Details of the study characteristics, economic model inputs, costs, and outcomes were extracted. Risk of bias was assessed using the biases in economic studies (ECOBIAS) checklist. The incremental net benefit was calculated with monetary units adjusting for purchasing power parity for 2017 US dollars. This was then pooled across studies stratified by the country's level of income using a random-effect model if heterogeneity was present and with a fixedeffect model otherwise. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Q test and I 2 statistic.Results: A total of 13 studies with 22 comparisons, mainly from high-income countries, were eligible. Six and 4 studies compared SGLT2 with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP4i) and sulfonylureas, respectively. The pooled incremental net benefits (95% confidence interval
Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy has become the most commonly used treatment for macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Although its superior efficacy as compared to other interventions has been proven, there is a lack of evidence for relative efficacy among anti-VEGF drugs. Areas covered: This work systematically reviewed and compared the efficacy of intravitreal bevacizumab, ranibizumab, and aflibercept for treating macular edema due to RVO. PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched from their inception until October 2017. Eleven randomized controlled trials (18 articles; 1830 adult patients) were identified. The proportion of patients who gained at least 15 letters in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), mean change from baseline in BCVA, and mean change from baseline in central macular thickness (CMT) were reported and these efficacy outcomes at 6 months were analyzed in network meta-analysis. Expert commentary: Apparently, bevacizumab, ranibizumab, and aflibercept were significantly superior to sham injection in terms of BCVA improvement and CMT reduction and had good safety profiles. However, there were no statistically significant differences in any outcomes among anti-VEGF drugs. In selecting an anti-VEGF drug for individual patients, other factors including affordability, drug availability, and patient characteristics should be considered.
Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a global threat, due to its fluctuating frequency and lethality. Published data revealed associations of COVID-19 susceptibility and severity with host genetic polymorphisms in renin-angiotensinaldosterone system (RAAS)-related genes including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)1, ACE2, and transmembrane protease (TMPRSS)2. However, the findings remain inconclusive. Accordingly, we aimed to clarify associations of genetic variants in those genes with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity using a systematic review with meta-analysis. From inception through 1 July 2021, a literature search was performed using PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases. Allelic distributions for each polymorphism were calculated as pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) to assess the strength of association. A total of 3333 COVID-19 patients and 5547 controls from 11 eligible studies were included. From a systematic review, ACE1 rs1799752, ACE1 rs4646994, ACE2 rs2285666, and TMPRSS2 rs12329760 were identified as common polymorphisms of RAAS-related genes. Meta-analysis showed a significant association between TMPRSS2 rs12329760 C-allele and an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 (OR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.73). Likewise, additional meta-analyses uncovered that both ACE1 rs4646994 DD-genotype and ACE2 rs2285666 GG-genotype carriers had a significantly increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 (OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.45, 2.93; OR = 2.14, 95% CI: 1.26, 3.66; respectively). Genetic polymorphisms of ACE1 rs4646994 DD-genotype, ACE2 rs2285666 GG-genotype, and TMPRSS2 rs12329760 CC-genotype and C-allele may serve as predictive models of COVID-19 severity.
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