The economic costs of NCDs can be divided into direct and indirect costs. For Switzerland, total direct costs due to NCDs were estimated at just under CHF 52 billion in 2011. This meant that NCDs accounted for 80% of all direct health care expenditure (not shown in indicator; see Wieser et al. 2014). 

In the same year, the total of direct and indirect costs for the seven main NCDs was approximately CHF 74 billion. Cardio-vascular diseases, musculoskeletal diseases and mental disorders incurred the greatest costs. Indirect costs were particularly high for mental diseases and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Assigned topics

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a burden not only on the person who is ill and those around them; they also bring about great direct and indirect costs to society. A major objective of the NCD strategy is to curb all costs attributable to non-communicable diseases.


The indicator shows the estimate of direct costs for all NCDs and the total of direct and indirect costs for the seven main NCDs. Direct costs are monetary expenditure that must be made for medical and non-medical measures. Indirect costs do not involve money. But a loss of resources occurs, mostly due to reduced productivity, due to absence from work, for example. Intangible costs such as pain or sorrow are not included in this cost estimate.  

Detailed definitions and calculations can be found in the study of Wieser et al. (2014).


  • Wieser, S. et al. (2014). Die Kosten der nichtübertragbaren Krankheiten in der Schweiz. Schlussbericht. Study commissioned by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Winterthur: Study (in German, Excecutive Summary in English)

Further information

  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) (2016). Federal Office of Public Health, Berne: Factsheet (in German)

Media enquiries

Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Tel. +41 58 462 95 05

Last updated