The research work, carried out in collaboration with the Centre of Economic Evaluation and Health Technology Assessment (EEHTA) at the Tor Vergata University of Rome Centre for Economic and International Studies (CEIS), sets out to develop a Cost of Illness probability model for macular degeneration in Italy. The model will be able to sum up the epidemiological characteristics of the illness and patient stratification on the basis of the guidelines recognized by the relative medical associations. These data will be associated with cost estimates of direct (drugs, hospitalization, therapy and/or diagnosis appointments etc.) and indirect health costs (loss of productivity owing to absenteeism and presenteeism, loss of work, incapacity and/or disability pensions, etc.) caused directly or indirectly by the illness. The results of the data processing will enable realistic estimates to be obtained of the economic and epidemiological consequences of macular degeneration in Italy and can contribute to providing the decision makers with important knowledge. The results of the work will be implemented by the blindness observatory created by the EEHTA centre at the Tor Vergata University of Rome CEIS (centre director Prof. Francesco Saverio Mennini).
It is estimated that around 4.8 million patients are affected by vascular diseases of the retina. The therapy with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitors has been an important innovation in the health field, making it possible to treat ophthalmic illnesses which formerly had few possible treatments. Since 2008, the year of their introduction, not only have anti-VEGF drugs enabled an improvement in the health of the treated patients, but also potential reductions in social expenditure. Despite the important epidemiological consequence and the large amount of money spent on dealing with and treating these illnesses, few economic studies are available in the literature.
- Andrea Marcellusi, Fabio Palazzo, collaborazione con EEHTA-CEIS. Facoltà di Economia Università degli studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”.