The Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance (S&PAA) released a report that identifies the direct and indirect costs of caring for the estimated 2.65 million people in the U.S. living with schizophrenia. Despite the relatively low prevalence of schizophrenia and related disorders, the excess economic burden attributable to the disease is estimated to be $282.6 billion in 2020.
The total cost of schizophrenia in the US was estimated for the year 2020 assuming the prevalence of 0.8% (2,648,021 people with schizophrenia in 2020). Costs are grouped by category and type and using this approach, the societal costs of schizophrenia were estimated to be $281.6 billion in 2020. These costs represent additional costs of schizophrenia on top of costs that are already incurred by those without schizophrenia.
The direct costs (Figure 1a) for individuals living with schizophrenia were estimated around $62 billion USD in 2020, of which $27.2 billion USD (36.8% of direct costs) could be attributed to health care; $24.7 billion USD (33.5% of direct costs) to supportive housing (structured residence and long-term care facilities) and homelessness services; $5.1 billion USD (6.9% of direct costs) to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI); and $16.8 billion USD (22.8% of direct costs) to interactions with the criminal justice system and incarceration.
The indirect costs (Figure 1b) of individuals living with schizophrenia were estimated around $219.6 billion USD in 2020. Individuals with schizophrenia have significantly lower quality of life accounting for $36.1 billion USD in indirect costs and reduced life expectancy, accounting for $37.4 billion of costs USD in indirect costs. Unemployment and reduced wages account for $41.6 billion USD in indirect costs. The impact of schizophrenia on caregivers is extremely high. The estimated indirect costs due to caregiver impacts account for over $104.5 billion in excess costs in 2020. These costs are due to $83.7 billion USD in unpaid caregiving and $20.8 billion USD due to caregiver burden. Indirect costs represent the value of economic resources lost due to reduced work productivity, morbidity, mortality, or secondary impact on caregivers.
For each person diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 25, the total lifetime cost to the economy is approximately $3.8 million or $92,000 per year. This report is an important first step in exposing the full direct and indirect costs of schizophrenia to individuals and society.
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Source: Schizophrenia & Psychosis Action Alliance (S&PAA)