The economic burden of glaucoma and ocular hypertension: implications for patient management: a review.
ABSTRACT This paper reviews the burden and economic consequences of glaucoma upon healthcare systems and patients, especially elderly patients. An extensive review of the literature was conducted, primarily using MEDLINE, but also by examining selected article reference lists, relevant websites and the proceedings of specialised conferences. All relevant articles and documents were analysed. Glaucoma is characterised by destruction of the optic nerve. It is most often a continuous, chronic eye disease and the most frequent diagnosis is primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG is mostly associated with intraocular hypertension which can be delayed by medication, surgery or laser therapy. The prevalence rate of glaucoma is about 1% in the population >50 years of age. The rate increases with age and is higher in Black and Hispanic populations. Glaucoma affects more than 67 million people worldwide. Cost-of-illness studies have shown the importance of this disease, on which more than pound300 million was spent in the UK in 2002. Most of the costs (45%) were associated with direct medical costs, but direct nonmedical costs (20%) and indirect costs (35%) were also not negligible. Recent economic studies have shown a dramatic increase in the number of patients with glaucoma receiving treatment but a reduction in use of surgical procedures to treat the condition, especially as first-line therapy. The greater part of medical expenditure is now on medication, with new, more potent, better tolerated, but more costly drugs replacing older and less expensive medications. Treatment costs are directly related to the severity of disease and the number of different treatments used; they are also negatively correlated with treatment efficacy in reducing intraocular pressure. However, long-term economic benefits that may be associated with use of more potent new drugs (by delaying institutionalisation) have never been documented. Glaucoma screening has also been found not to be cost effective, although these results should be reconsidered in the light of new data.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: To determine the socioeconomic impact of long-term glaucoma therapy. Materials and Methods: One hundred and fifty consecutive glaucoma patients on medical therapy, following up at our glaucoma service for at least 6 months were recruited. A questionnaire regarding monthly income, cost of glaucoma medications prescribed, availability of medications, travel time, time spent in review clinics, compliance, education status, medical insurance and systemic or local side-effects was administered. Results: The patients seen at the tertiary government hospital had an average monthly income of Rs. 10,912/- (range: Rs. 500/- to Rs. 50,000/-) with approximately 56% of the patients having an income of less than Rs. 5000/month. The expenditure on anti-glaucoma medications ranged from 0.3% in high income group to 123% of their monthly gross income in low income group (P < 0.0001). The total expenditure including travel, stay, and loss of wages of patients and accompanying persons ranged from 1.6% in high income group to 137% of the monthly income in low income group (P < 0.0001). Mean time required for a glaucoma clinic visit was 15.66 h, (range: 6-96 h/month). About 2.7% experienced systemic side-effects and 21.3% had complaints of ocular adverse effects. About 90% of the patients were compliant. 92% were not covered by any insurance plan/government reimbursement for their treatment. Conclusions: Medical therapy for glaucoma is an economic burden to many patients and should be individualized, according to the socioeconomic status, availability of drugs and the required distance to travel to reach the specialist clinics.Indian Journal of Ophthalmology 01/2015; 63(1):20-24. DOI:10.4103/0301-4738.151458 · 0.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Glaucoma is the second highest cause of blindness worldwide with an estimated half of the glaucoma population unaware of their disease. To date, intraocular pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor and lowering it has been proven to reduce progression of visual field loss associated with glaucoma. Different strategies are available to lower intraocular pressure and include medical, laser, or surgical treatment in the form of topical or systemic medications, argon or selective laser trabeculoplasty, and glaucoma drainage surgery such as trabeculectomy, deep sclerectomy, or other drainage devices. The effectiveness of these treatments has been well documented however their cost-effectiveness between the developed world and third world remains unclear.ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research 01/2014; 6:523-30. DOI:10.2147/CEOR.S30697