The impact of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents on visual impairment/blindness prevention in patients with diabetic macular edema and on associated patient and caregiver burden in Japan

The impact of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents on visual impairment/blindness prevention in patients with diabetic macular edema and on associated patient and caregiver burden in Japan

2019 J Med Econ

Kitano, S. | Sakamoto, T. | Goto, R. | Fukushima, A. | Vataire, A. L. | Hikichi, Y. | Volume: 22, Issue: 3, Pages: 254-265, Diabetic macular edema, I11, I19, anti-VEGF agents, blindness, population-based model, productivity loss,

AIMS: To estimate the impact of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents on visual impairment and blindness avoided in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) and on associated patient and caregiver productivity loss in Japan. METHODS: This study compared the impact of current care (estimated at 53.8% utilization of anti-VEGF agents using current data) with that of hypothetical care (characterized by a higher utilization of anti-VEGF agents [80.0%], as estimated by an expert panel) of DME patients. A population-based Markov model (two-eye approach) simulated visual acuity (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study [ETDRS] letters) transitions over 5 years with DME treatments (intravitreal aflibercept, ranibizumab, and triamcinolone acetonide, and grid/focal laser) in patients with DME. Patient and caregiver productivity loss was determined using the human capital method. RESULTS: In total, 570,000 DME patients were included in the model over 5 years. Increased utilization of anti-VEGF agents resulted in 6,659 fewer cases of severe visual impairment (SVI; 26-35 ETDRS letters) or blindness (0-25 ETDRS letters) compared with the current care approach (26,023 vs 32,682 cases; 20.38% reduction) over this period. Increased utilization of anti-VEGF agents also contributed to productivity loss savings of yen12.58 billion (US $115.64 million) (i.e., 17.01%) at the end of year 5. The total overall saving over 5 years was yen45.83 billion (US $421.27 million) (13.45%). LIMITATIONS: Few Japanese data were available, and assumptions were made for some inputs. Vision changes dependent on the function of both eyes were not studied. Only intravitreal (not sub-Tenon’s) injections of triamcinolone were considered in this model. Direct costs were not considered. CONCLUSIONS: Increased utilization of anti-VEGF agents can reduce SVI and legal blindness in patients with DME in Japan. This would also be associated with substantial savings in patient and caregiver productivity loss.

https://www.doi.org/10.1080/13696998.2018.1558867