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(Barbados today) The struggling Barbados economy is losing $145 million a year as the cost of treating non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continues to soar, according to Minister of Health John Boyce.

Boyce Monday morning told a consultation on a National Strategic Plan for Health that the treatment of hypertension and diabetes alone accounted for 58 per cent of expenditure by the Barbados Drug Service last year.

In addition, he said the losses due to lost productivity took the cost of fighting cardiovascular diseases and diabetes well above the $200 million mark.

The minister quoted from a report on the Investment Case for NCD Prevention and Control in Barbados commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization in 2015, which estimated that “while BDS$64 million was spent on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, it was indicated that our economy may be losing as much as BDS$145 million annually due to missed work days, low productivity and reduced workforce participation.

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