The purpose of this study was to use a cross-sectional prevalence-based health care economic survey to ascertain the annual, incremental, societal ophthalmic costs associated with neovascular age-related macular degeneration.Methods:
Consecutive patients (n = 200) with neovascular age-related macular degeneration were studied. A Control Cohort included patients with good (20/20–20/25) vision, while Study Cohort vision levels included Subcohort 1: 20/30 to 20/50, Subcohort 2: 20/60 to 20/100, Subcohort 3: 20/200 to 20/400, and Subcohort 4: 20/800 to no light perception. An interviewer-administered, standardized, written survey assessed 1) direct ophthalmic medical, 2) direct nonophthalmic medical, 3) direct nonmedical, and 4) indirect medical costs accrued due solely to neovascular age-related macular degeneration.Results:
The mean annual societal cost for the Control Cohort was $6,116 and for the Study Cohort averaged $39,910 (P < 0.001). Study Subcohort 1 costs averaged $20,339, while Subcohort 4 costs averaged $82,984. Direct ophthalmic medical costs comprised 17.9% of Study Cohort societal ophthalmic costs, versus 74.1% of Control Cohort societal ophthalmic costs (P < 0.001) and 10.4% of 20/800 to no light perception subcohort costs. Direct nonmedical costs, primarily caregiver, comprised 67.1% of Study Cohort societal ophthalmic costs, versus 21.3% ($1,302/$6,116) of Control Cohort costs (P < 0.001) and 74.1% of 20/800 to no light perception subcohort costs.Conclusion:
Total societal ophthalmic costs associated with neovascular age-related macular degeneration dramatically increase as vision in the better-seeing eye decreases.