Research Institute on Population and Social Policies


Legal blindness costs


The research work, carried out in collaboration with the Economic Evaluation and HTA center of the CEIS Faculty of Economics of the Tor Vergata University of Rome, envisages the development of a probabilistic model of Cost of Illness of maculopathies in Italy. The model will be able to summarize the epidemiological characteristics of the disease and the stratification of patients according to the guidelines recognized by the reference medical associations. These data will be associated with cost estimates relating to direct health costs (drugs, hospitalizations, visits for therapy and / or diagnosis, etc.) and indirect costs (loss of productivity due to absenteeism and presentism, job loss, disability pensions and / or disability, etc.) caused directly or indirectly by the disease. The results of the elaborations will allow to obtain realistic estimates of the economic and epidemiological weight of maculopathies in Italy and will be able to provide an important cognitive contribution for decision makers. The results of the work will be implemented within the blindness observatory designed by the EEHTA center of the CEIS Faculty of Economics of the University of Rome Tor Vergata (director of the center Prof. Francesco Saverio Mennini).

It is estimated that in Italy about 4,8 million patients are affected by vascular diseases of the retina. Therapy with Vascular Endothelial Growt Factor (VEGF) inhibitors represented an important innovation in the health sector, making it possible to treat ophthalmic diseases for which there were few therapeutic possibilities. Since 2008, the year of their introduction, anti-VEGF drugs have allowed not only the improvement of the health of treated patients but also potential reductions in social spending. Despite the important epidemiological weight and the significant expenditure incurred for the management and treatment of these diseases, there are few economic studies available in the literature.

Andrea Marcellusi, Fabio Palazzo, collaboration with EEHTA-CEIS. Faculty of Economics, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.