The Financial Implications of a Well-Hidden and Ignored Chronic Lyme Disease Pandemic
Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
Healthcare (Basel). 2018 Feb 13;6(1). pii: E16
1 million people are predicted to get infected with Lyme disease in the USA in 2018. Given the same incidence rate of Lyme disease in Europe as in the USA, then 2.4 million people will get infected with Lyme disease in Europe in 2018. In the USA by 2050, 55.7 million people (12% of the population) will have been infected with Lyme disease. In Europe by 2050, 134.9 million people (17% of the population) will have been infected with Lyme disease. Most of these infections will, unfortunately, become chronic. The estimated treatment cost for acute and chronic Lyme disease for 2018 for the USA is somewhere between 4.8 billion USD and 9.6 billion USD and for Europe somewhere between 10.1 billion EUR and 20.1 billion EUR. If governments do not finance IV treatment with antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease, then the estimated government cost for chronic Lyme disease for 2018 for the USA is 10.1 billion USD and in Europe 20.1 billion EUR. If governments in the USA and Europe want to minimize future costs and maximize future revenues, then they should pay for IV antibiotic treatment up to a year even if the estimated cure rate is as low as 25%. The cost for governments of having chronic Lyme patients sick in perpetuity is very large.