Spending on Glaucoma Meds Rising in U.S., Study
MONDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Spending on medications for
Americans with the eye disease glaucoma has increased overall and
especially among certain groups of patients, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed data from 1,404 patients aged 18 and older
who used glaucoma medication between 2001 and 2006. The average
amount spent per patient for glaucoma medications increased from
$445 in 2001 to $557 in 2006.
Among the groups most likely to be associated with significant
increases in spending on glaucoma medications were women, people
who had only public health insurance and those who hadn't completed
high school. Spending on glaucoma medications was higher among
patients with Medicare Part D coverage than among those with
private insurance, said Dr. Byron L. Lam, of the Bascom Palmer Eye
Institute in Miami, and colleagues.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.
As the country's population ages and more people develop glaucoma,
spending on drugs to treat the condition is likely to increase, the
study authors explained in the report published in the June 13
online edition of the journal
Archives of Ophthalmology.
"The results of our study as well as an understanding of the factors that account for the increase in glaucoma medication expenditure are important to help develop effective strategies and protocols for the medical management of glaucoma that optimize treatment and control expenditures," the authors concluded.
The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about
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