Intergovernmental committee on Drugs working party on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia: An Update
10.3 Data to be collected
Applied Economics reports on the unit costs for services used by persons with FASD and their carers in Australia relating to the year 2005-06 for each State and Territory for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons (Applied Economics 2005; Applied Economics 2008). However, data on the total number of people with FASD by level of severity are not available. Nor are there data on the service frequency for individuals in each age cohort.
To estimate the true costs of FASD, it remains necessary to estimate the prevalence of FASD by levels of severity and the volume of services provided by governments to people with FASD as well as the private costs of FASD. Collection of data on the prevalence of FASD in
any year in each State and Territory would probably have to be based on estimates or opinions of experts in the field in each jurisdiction.
Data on the frequency of service use could be collected by conducting a survey by way of a series of focus groups with samples of parents/carers to obtain information about their actual service use experience.
Table 10.1: Summary of international studies estimating the of the costs of FASD
|Study||Publication Year||Prices||Estimated incidence||Health care costs till age:||Residential Care and support till age:||Lost productivity||Disability years / QALYs||Other social problems||Annual cost |
|Annual cost per case||Constant cost of 65 years||NPV @ 3 Percent p.a. discount|
|FAS annual cost studies|
|A. Abel & Sokola||1991a||US$2002||2/1000||21||65b||N||N||N||4.75 bnc||9,058||589,000||278,000|
|B. Abel & Sokola||1987||US$2002||2/1000||21||65b||N||N||N||3.60 bnc||6,865||446,000||210,000|
|C. Abel & Sokola||1991b||US$2002||2/1000||21||65 b||N||N||N||2.3 bnc||4,386||285,000||134,000|
|D. Ricea||1990||US$2002||2/1000||21||65 b||N||N||N||3.6 bnc||6,865||446,000||210,000|
|E. Harwooda||1984||US$2002||2/1000||65||65||N||N||N||11.1 bnc||21,167||1,376,000||649,000|
|F. Harwooda||1998||US$2002||2/1000||21||65||N||N||N||5.95 bnc||11,346||738,000||348,000|
|G . Klug & Burdd||2003||US$2003||21||N||N||N||N||2,342|
|FASD annual cost study|
|H. Stade et al.||2006||Cn$2006||3/1000||21||21||for carer||N||N||0.34 bn||14,342||753,000^||348,000|
|FAS lifetime cost studies|
|I. Harwood & Napolitanoa||1985||US$2002||65||65||Y||N||N||2,000,000||942,000|
(a) Lupton et al. adjusted for incidence, residential care and productivity as described in the text. Refers Harwood and Napolitano 7,8
(b) These include only residential costs for mental retardation. They exclude semi-residential care and care for moderate severity.
(c) As quoted in Lupton et al.
(d) This study includes medical costs only and is based on ages up to 21 years. Basic costs for normal cases are subtracted.
^ Refers to Canadian Dollars (CA$). Remainder refer to US Dollars (US$).
- FASD results in a wide range of costs to affected individuals and their families/carers (private costs) and the community (social costs). These include direct costs for health care and accommodation, education, employment support services, income support, community services and justice services. Costs to individuals with FASD may include loss of income, reduced quality of life and reduced longevity.
- A recent Canadian study estimates the annual cost of FASD to be $5.3 billion 2007 $CAD.
- There have been no studies of the costs of FASD in Australia. International studies indicate that costs are high, but we have insufficient Australian data to enable comparisons to be made internationally.
- Estimating the economic impact of FASD is necessary to justify and evaluate prevention programs and to inform the distribution of health care resources.
- In order to estimate costs of FASD in Australia, we require accurate data on prevalence of FASD, the health and developmental needs of individuals, frequency of service use including contact with the criminal justice system.