Immunosuppressant medication may be cost-effective for dry eye syndrome

Feb 09, 2009

A topical eye emulsion consisting of cyclosporine (a medication used to reduce transplant rejections or to treat arthritis and psoriasis) may be a cost-effective treatment for dry eye syndrome that does not respond to other therapies, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Published reports suggest that the prevalence of dry eye syndrome in older patients ranges from about 15 percent to 34 percent, according to background information in the article. "Patients with dry eye syndrome have more difficulty reading, carrying out professional work, using a computer, watching television and driving compared with those without dry eyes," the authors write. "The burden of dry eye disease from both the prevalence and patient morbidity standpoints makes this a sizeable public health dilemma."

Using data from two randomized clinical trials and Food and Drug Administration files, Melissa M. Brown, M.D., M.N., M.B.A., of the Center for Value-Based Medicine, Flourtown, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of eye drops containing a 0.05 percent emulsion of the drug cyclosporine for patients whose moderate to severe dry eye syndrome did not respond to conventional therapy.

When compared with eye drops containing only lubricant, the cyclosporine drops were associated with a 4.3 percent improvement in quality of life, and conferred a 7.1 percent improvement over no treatment. The total direct medical cost associated with the use of this drug was $1,834; however, because 24.5 percent of treated workers will return to full productivity as a result, there is an estimated $1,236 gain associated with treatment, reducing the net cost to $598.

Based on the authors' analysis, the cost to society for treatment with this medication was $34,953 more per quality-adjusted life year (a measure combining the quality and quantity of life) than the lubricant eye drops alone. This is well below the conventional standard of $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year that most would consider cost-effective, they note.

More info: Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127[2]:146-152.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug-infused nanoparticle is right for sore eyes

Oct 08, 2014

For the millions of sufferers of dry eye syndrome, their only recourse to easing the painful condition is to use drug-laced eye drops three times a day. Now, researchers from the University of Waterloo have ...

Even healthy cats act sick when their routine is disrupted

Jan 03, 2011

A cat regularly vomiting hairballs or refusing to eat probably isn't being finicky or otherwise "cat-like," despite what conventional wisdom might say. There is a good chance that the cat is acting sick because of the stress ...

Sleep apnea linked to hard-to-diagnose eye disorders

Apr 01, 2010

A British study finds that the condition known as floppy eyelid syndrome (FES) is strongly associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), implying that when doctors see FES in a patient, they should also look for OSA, and ...

How arthritis thrives

Jan 25, 2010

The links between autoimmune diseases, infections, genetics and the environment are complex and mysterious. Why are people who live near airports more susceptible to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus? ...

Ups and downs of thyroid disease

Jan 25, 2010

Danielle Gayden of Oakland, Calif., had to stick her face in front of a fan for almost an hour to cool down. Second to her intolerance for heat was the anxiety, which caused her heart to beat 200 times a minute and sent her ...

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

16 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.