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Costs of Rheumatoid Arthritis in a Balkan Country (Serbia)

Written by Slobodan Janković, Marina Kostić, Marija Radosavljević, and Snežana Jovanović, this article appeared on the first issue of Vol. 23 of the journal East European Politics and Society in February 2009.

The economic aspects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Balkan countries were not studied. The majority of Balkan countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and
Romania) have made rapid socio-economic transitions during the last decade from planned economies of the socialistic type to liberal, market-driven economies, resulting in their shift from lower- to higher-middle-income countries (2007 gross national income per capita shifted from $3,706 to $11,455).
These countries also have similar annual health budgets per capita (Bulgaria: $272, Serbia: $212, Montenegro: $212, and Romania: $250). While drug and medical device costs in Balkan countries are similar to costs in developed European countries, costs of health care services are much lower. This creates a different economic environment in health care and could produce significant differences in the cost of the same medical procedure or drug in high-income European countries and higher-middle-income Balkan countries.

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