Indicator 10. Costs of asthma

Description: Disease expenditure on asthma, by area of health expenditure (total recurrent expenditure both government and non-government).

Highly prevalent, affecting almost 2.7 million people in Australia (11% of total population), asthma incurs significant costs to the Australian community (DAC 2015), in terms of both economic burden and diminished quality of life.

Understanding the contribution of asthma to direct health care expenditure aids understanding of the economic impact of the disease. Furthermore, knowledge of the relative contribution of the various health care sectors (hospital, out-of-hospital medical care, and pharmaceutical) to overall asthma-related expenditure assists in planning interventions to optimise this expenditure.

The interactive visualisations on this page show data for expenditure for asthma, by area of health expenditure and sex.

Key findings

According to the AIHW Disease Expenditure Database, in 2015–16, asthma cost the Australian Health system an estimated $770 million—19% of disease expenditure for respiratory conditions and 0.7% of total disease expenditure. This expenditure consisted of:

  • $204 million for hospitals (27% of total expenditure on asthma)
  • $163 million for non-hospital medical services (21%)
  • $383 million for pharmaceuticals (50%)
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DAC (Deloitte Access Economics) 2015. The Hidden cost of asthma. Report for Asthma Australia and National Asthma Council Australia. Canberra.