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Evaluation of Non-Medical Costs Associated with Visual Impairment in Four European Countries
Antoine Lafuma
Additional author(s): Antoine Brézin, Stefania Lopatriello, Klaus Hieke, Julia Hutchinson, Viviane Mimaud, Dr Gilles Berdeaux
Publication: PharmacoEconomics

KEY POINTS

  • Visual impairment is a severe disability that puts a heavy burden on individuals, families and society.
  • In developed countries, the two major diseases leading to irreversible visual impairment are glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
  • Their prevalence will increase dramatically with population aging.
  • This study reveals that total non-medical costs associated with visual impairment are considerable.
  • The non-medical social dimensions of visual impairment related to the consequent incapacity and dependency should encourage payers to finance health innovations that aim to preserve vision.

SUMMARY

Visual impairment is a severe disability that puts a heavy burden on individuals, families and society. In developed countries, the two major diseases leading to irreversible visual impairment are glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Their prevalence will increase dramatically with population aging.

The economic consequences of visual impairment are considerable, but have rarely been documented, apart from some ‘top-down’ estimates based on national statistics. We estimated the non-medical costs related to visual impairment in four European countries: France, Italy, Germany and the UK.

The study found that total non-medical costs associated with visual impairment are indeed considerable. The present analysis demonstrates that the preponderant economic consequences of visual impairment lie beyond healthcare systems, and that visual impairment has a considerable negative impact on productivity. Considering the non-medical social dimensions of visual impairment related to the consequent incapacity and dependency should encourage payers to finance health innovations that aim to preserve vision.

Link to the report: http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165%2F00019053-200624020-00007      

Published in 2006

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