What Are Direct Medical Costs Of Vision Impairment?

Taipei, Taiwan –Vision impairment is a serious health problem, currently affecting 285 million people worldwide. The economic burdens of vision impairment on health care systems have found to be substantial in western countries, but have not been fully evaluated in Asia.

The recent study, “Analysis of Excess Direct Medical Costs of Vision Impairment in Taiwan,” published in Value in Health Regional Issues quantified annual excess medical costs of moderate, severe vision loss and blindness. Across each level of vision impairment, the estimated crude excess costs were significant, which was dominated by non-eye related care (85% to 98% of total costs). Our data also indicated that the first-year adjusted annual excess costs increased with escalating severity: New Taiwan (NT) $9,849 for moderate vision loss, NT $22,760 for severe vision loss, and NT $52,687 for blindness, the trend being consistent with the second-year costs despite reduced costs.

“This study suggests excess costs of vision impairment are substantial and increase as severity of vision impairment progresses. The costs from vision loss peak in the first year and primarily result from non-eye related care. Our provided data are of public health importance in allocating medical resources for vision impairment,” reports Dr. Meng-Ting Wang, assistant professor of Pharmacy in National Defense Medical Center and the principle investigator of this economic analysis.

Value in Health Regional Issues  (ISSN 2212-1099) is a scientific journal that encourages and enhances the science of pharmacoeconomic/health economic and health outcomes research and its use in health care decisions. The journal is published up to three times a year with one issue focusing on the Asia region, one issue focusing on the Latin America region, and one issue focusing on the Central & Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Africa regions.

The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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