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A Cost Analysis of Icon Reusable Underwear Versus Disposable Pads for Mild to Moderate Urinary Incontinence

Alam, Pakeeza A., MD*; Huang, Jim C., PhD†‡; Clark, Brett A., MPH*; Burkett, Linda S., MD*; Richter, Lee A., MD*

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: July 12, 2018 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000607
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective The objective of this study was to perform a cost analysis assessing the economic feasibility of reusable underwear as alternative for disposable pads for women with mild to moderate urinary incontinence.

Methods A consumer-perspective cost analysis was performed with the following assumptions: (1) consumers have mild to moderate urinary incontinence and use 2 pads per day (PPD); (2) consumers have a 2-week supply of underwear; (3) there is no difference in laundering cost between 2 incontinence options; (4) there is no difference in use of labor/other accessories of care; (5) there is no difference in skin complaints/associated cost; (6) cost of products are nonfluctuant with time; and (7) all incontinence products were purchased online. Sensitivity analyses were performed varying the longevity of underwear, price of regular underwear, price of pads, pads used per day, and shipping and handling.

Results The total cost of disposable pads with regular underwear was US $392.40, whereas the cost of Icon underwear was US $380.80 over the course of 2 years. Icon costs less than using regular underwear with disposable pads as long as the cost of the regular underwear is at least US $2.17. Icon is economically inferior if the cost per pad is US $0.15 when using 3 PPD or if the cost per pad is US $0.24 when using less than 2 PPD.

Conclusions Reusable incontinence underwear can be an economically feasible alternative to disposable pads for light to moderate urinary incontinence after 2 years of use assuming underwear has a 2-year longevity and the consumer is using 2 PPD with regular underwear.

From the *Georgetown University/MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC;

Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics, MedStar Health Research Institute, Hyattsville, MD; and

Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Washington, DC.

Correspondence: Pakeeza A. Alam, MD, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, 106 Irving St, NW Physicians Office Bldg, Suite 405 S, Washington, DC 20010-2975. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

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