Newer drugs and better diagnostic techniques will see the cost of treating epilepsy increase, according to delegates to a conference in Toronto this weekend.
The Canadian Epilepsy Consortium (CEC) and Canadian League Against Epilepsy hosted the first Canadian Joint Conference on Epilepsy. The conference focused on the economic burden of the condition that currently affects about 300,000 Canadians.
"If people are seizure-free, the costs are less,'' Dr. Sam Wiebe of the University of Western Ontario told the conference.
"The cost of epilepsy is rising due to new technologies, both diagnostic and therapeutic,'' he said.
Chairman of the CEC, Dr Jack Schneiderman, speaking before the conference said:
"This is the first time that the different groups essential to understanding the factors that determine the total cost of epilepsy - including direct medical costs as well as indirect psychosocial costs - have come together.
"This is a unique event in that patients, physicians, health economists, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies are meeting to discuss the challenges".