Association Between User Fees and Dropout from Methadone Maintenance Therapy: Results of a Cohort Study in Vietnam

Resource Type: Journal Article
Authors:  Benjamin Johns, Le Bao Chau, Kieu Huu Hanh, Pham Duc Manh, Hoa Mai Do, Anh Thuy Duong & Long Hoang Nguyen
Published: February 21, 2018

Resource Description: Vietnam launched methadonemaintenance therapy (MMT) in 2008 with donor funding. To expand and ensure sustainability of the program, Vietnam shifted the responsibility for financing portions of MMT to provinces and, in 2015, some provinces started collecting user fees for MMT. This study assesses the association between user fees and patient dropout using a one-year observational cohort of 1,021 MMT patients in which three of seven provinces included in the study implemented user fees. We also estimate the catastrophic payments—payments of 40% or more of nonsubsistence expenditures—associated with MMT. Box-Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the association between user fees and patient dropout. About 85% of the cohort was actively on MMT at the end of the observation period. Of those who stopped MMT care, about 8% dropped out, 3.5% were incarcerated, 1.5% died, and 2% stopped for other reasons. The dropout hazard ratio for paying user fees compared to not paying user fees ranged from 0.70 (unadjusted, p D 0.26) to 0.29 (adjusted, p D 0.33). However, 29% of patients in provinces implementing user fees incurred catastrophic payments for MMT associated user fees and transportation, compared with 11% of patients in provinces not implementing user fees is needed

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