Evaluation of the pharmacoeconomics of drugs used for the treatment of long-term complications of sulfur mustard

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Yunes Panahi
Mostafa Ghanei
Milad Vakili Zarch
Zohreh Poursaleh
Shahram Parvin
Ramin Rezaee
Amirhossein Sahebkar *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Amirhossein Sahebkar | amir_saheb2000@yahoo.com

Abstract

Sulfur Mustard (SM), a cytotoxic vesicant chemical warfare agent, has powerful irritant and blistering effects on the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. Since during the Iraq-Iran war, many Iranian soldiers and civilians were exposed to SM, there are several victims still suffering from long-term cutaneous, ocular and pulmonary complications. Currently, there is no definite treatment for long-term complications of SM, and only supportive medical care is being taken to minimize the symptoms. In this study, we compared the cost-effectiveness of common drugs that are used against long-term SM-induced complications in Iranian patients. In this review article, electronic databases were checked using the following key words: sulfur mustard, lung, skin, eye, cost-effectiveness, pharmacoeconomics and treatment. Abstracts of non-English papers and proceedings of congresses on SM were also assessed. Among the studied drugs, high-dose oral N-acetyl cysteine and long-acting inhaled corticosteroids against respiratory complications, topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines against cutaneous complications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids ophthalmic drops against ocular complications were found to be cost-effective. Usage of different drugs in the treatment of SM injuries in Iran, have imposed a significant economic burden to patients and their families because many drugs that are effective against chemical injuries are not covered by insurance. In addition, the development of more effective drugs in this field is considered as an urgent demand that should be noticed by the pharmaceutical industry.

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