Respiratory diseases are a significant cause of mortality and represent some of the most costly diseases in Canada. The growth in the number of older Canadians will contribute to the rising economic burden associated with chronic lung disease. One way to address this burden is to reduce the risk factors that encourage their development.
This report examines the cost savings from reducing six of the risk factors that contribute to the three major chronic lung diseases—lung cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Based on a status quo scenario and a forecast scenario, the report estimates that over the entire forecast horizon (2012–2030), the policy scenario could reduce the economic burden by a combined $12.2 billion.
The cost savings from the policy scenario would increase dramatically over time, compared with the status quo scenario, where only minimal improvement would take place. The analysis in the report suggests that investments to offset future costs associated with chronic lung disease need to be made well in advance to ensure the reduction in the economic burden actually materializes.