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Preference of Herbal Therapies: Cost of Illness and Cost Benefit Analysis for Major Diseases in the City of Karachi, Pakistan

Author(s): S. M. Ahmad*, I. Azhar, Darakhshan Masroor and Nadia Ahmed1
Department of Pharmacognosy, 1Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Karachi-75270, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Karachi-75270, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail:

The aim of the present study was to assess and compare the allopathic and herbal therapies by carrying out cost of illness and cost benefit analysis after propagation of basic epidemiological and pharmacoeconomic data. The data was recorded from the patient for 3 major diseases, common cold, depression and trauma in all 178 union councils of the city of Karachi, Pakistan, rationalizing the benefits and hence proving the preference of herbal over allopathic therapy. The stratified random sampling (n=178) was used, selecting individual sets of 178 patients for each kind of therapy, utilizing data of epidemiology. The direct and indirect costs were calculated for therapies for selected diseases in patients. However, benefits were analyzed by developing uniform method of analysis of costs and benefits, comparing and propagating individual data of union councils on the city level. The differences in costs of illnesses between allopathic and herbal therapies were found to be: Rs.1.51/- billion (US$ 14.52/- million), 46.82/- billion (US$ 450.19/- million) for depression and Rs.0.14/- billion (Rs.140/- million or US$ 1.35/- million) in trauma, respectively. The herbal therapies were proved more effective than allopathic therapies, i.e. 29.85, 11.79 and 4.77 % in cases of common cold, depression and trauma.

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