Cost assessment of a program for laboratory testing of plasma trans-fatty acids in Thailand

Biplab Kumar Datta, Wichai Aekplakorn, Anchalee Chittamma, Pornchai Meemeaw, Hubert Vesper, Heather C. Kuiper, Lindsay Steele, Laura K. Cobb, Chaoyang Li, Muhammad Jami Husain, Lalida Ketgudee, Deliana Kostova, Patricia Richter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Intake of trans fatty acids (TFA) increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Assessment of TFA exposure in the population is key for determining TFA burden and monitoring change over time. One approach for TFA monitoring is measurement of TFA levels in plasma. Understanding costs associated with this approach can facilitate program planning, implementation and scale-up. This report provides an assessment of costs associated with a pilot program to measure plasma TFA levels in Thailand. Study design: Cost analysis in a laboratory facility in Thailand. Methods: We defined three broad cost modules: laboratory, personnel, and facility costs, which were further classified into sub-components and into fixed and variable categories. Costs were estimated based on the number of processed plasma samples (100–2700 in increments of 50) per year over a certain number of years (1–5), in both USD and Thai Baht. Total cost and average costs per sample were estimated across a range of samples processed. Results: The average cost per sample of analyzing 900 samples annually over 5 years was estimated at USD186. Laboratory, personnel, and facility costs constitute 67%, 23%, and 10% of costs, respectively. The breakdown across fixed costs, such as laboratory instruments and personnel, and variable costs, such as chemical supplies, was 60% and 40%, respectively. Average costs decline as more samples are processed: the cost per sample for analyzing 100, 500, 1500, and 2500 samples per year over 5 years is USD1351, USD301, USD195; and USD177, respectively. Conclusions: Laboratory analysis of plasma TFA levels has high potential for economies of scale, encouraging a long-term approach to TFA monitoring initiatives, particularly in countries that already maintain national biometric repositories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100199
JournalPublic Health in Practice
Volume2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cost assessment
  • Plasma assay
  • Thailand
  • Trans fatty acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy

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