Understanding of the costs of drug-related actions is an important aspect of drug policy. Some of the funds allocated by governments to expenditure on tasks related to drugs are identified as such in the budget (‘labelled’). Often, however, the bulk of drug-related expenditure is not identified (‘unlabelled’) and must be estimated by modelling approaches.
In the Czech Republic, drug-related labelled expenditures from public budgets have been regularly monitored since 2002. However, this budget is not directly linked to national policy documents. Data completeness has improved over time. Between 2007 and 2010, unlabelled expenditures were also estimated using ‘cost of illness’ methodology.
In 2015, the total drug-related public expenditure was EUR 52.9 million, representing 0.03 % of gross domestic product (GDP). Of this, 58 % funded supply reduction activities and the remaining expenditure was for demand reduction (treatment and harm reduction received the largest proportion of expenditure on demand reduction initiatives).
Analysis of long term trends indicates that total expenditure as a percentage of GDP remained stable between 2005 and 2015 (0.01-0.06 % of GDP), but grew in nominal terms. The exceptions were 2009 and 2011, when total expenditure declined, probably as a result of public austerity measures associated with the 2008 economic recession. In 2011, drug-related expenditure reached the lowest proportion of GDP (0.1 %). However, since then, total expenditure has increased again and, in 2014 and 2015, it was at 0.03 % of GDP.
Public expenditure related to illicit drugs in the Czech Republic
NB Based on estimates of the Czech Republic’s labelled and unlabelled public expenditure in 2015.