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Monday, April 18, 2011

Economic burden of AMD in Germany

Age-related macular degenerationApproximately 35,000 cases of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) occur annually in Germany. The neovascular form of AMD is responsible for severe vision loss associated with the disease in 90% of the cases. This study was conducted to assess the humanistic and economic burden of wet AMD in the German population.

A study of self-reported functional health, well-being, and disease burden among elderly subjects with (n=83) and without (n=93) wet AMD in Germany was conducted. Patients participated in structured telephone surveys, and reported their history of falls, fractures, and healthcare resource utilization. Furthermore, the healthcare utilization and unit costs for wet AMD patients were calculated.

Wet AMD patients reported significantly worse vision-related function and overall well-being than controls and significantly more depression symptoms than controls. Wet AMD patients also reported that the need for assistance with daily activities was more than 10 times greater compared to controls (26.5% vs. 2.2%) and the prevalence of falls was 3 times that of the control group (13.3% vs 4.3%). Annual wet AMD costs per patient were 9871 Euros, 6 times that of elderly patients without NV-AMD (1559 Euros). Of the wet AMD costs one-half were non-medical-related costs (assistance of ADL or social benefit) and one-third were direct medical costs.

Wet AMD is associated with decreased functional abilities and quality of life, which result in an increase in healthcare resource utilization. Consequently, costs were higher for wet AMD patients compared to controls. These findings emphasize the need for new AMD treatments that will prevent vision loss and progression to blindness, and lessen the ensuing economic burden.

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