Cost of Opioid Substitution Treatment

"From published studies, it is possible to extract additional data on unit costs. In England, a research study, based on 401 clients from seven clinics specialising in substitution treatment, estimated the range of costs of ‘treatment as usual’ (Raistrick et al., 2007). The average total cost of treatment per patient per day was EUR 3 (EUR 3, price year 2007), excluding the cost of prescribed drugs, and EUR 6 (EUR 5, price year 2007) including prescribed drugs. The study found that among the key factors influencing treatment costs across agencies were the complexity of the case mix, the amount of drugs prescribed, and the gender mix. In England, methadone maintenance was estimated to cost between EUR 2 (EUR 2, price year 2007) and EUR 24 (EUR 22, price year 2007) per patient per day in the 15 programmes studied (Curtis, 2008), while the DTORS research team, reported specialist prescribing at EUR 18 (EUR 17, price year 2006/07) per patient per day (Davies et al., 2009).
"In Spain, Martinez-Raga et al. (2009) reported estimates of EUR 4 (EUR 4, price year 2004) per patient per day in methadone maintenance treatment and EUR 5 (EUR 5, price year 2004) per patient per day in buprenorphine maintenance treatment. As these estimates exclude medication costs, they are not full unit costs. In Lithuania, (3) Vanagas et al. (2010), based on 102 treatment clients, estimated the cost of methadone maintenance treatment at EUR 4 per patient per day (2004 prices, no CPI identified).
"In Germany, the unit cost of oral methadone maintenance treatment (3) was estimated at EUR 10 (EUR 9, price year 2006) per client per day or EUR 3 490 (EUR 3 314, price year 2006) for the 12 month trial period, of which the cost of methadone accounted for about 12 % (von der Schulenburg and Claes, 2006). An estimate for Norway puts the average cost of methadone substitution treatment in that country at EUR 37 (EUR 32, price year 2001) per patient per day (Melberg et al., 2003).
"The unit cost estimates for opioid substitution treatment with methadone reviewed here range from EUR 2 to EUR 37 per patient per day. This variation may reflect differences in one or more of several possible factors: national and regional drug situations and treatment systems, the case mix of patients, year of data collection, and inclusion of medication cost."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, "Cost and financing of drug treatment services in Europe: an exploratory study" (Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2011), p. 17.