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Non-Clinical Medicine - Ophthalmology - Public Health and Epidemiology - Surgery

Cost of Dry Eye Treatment in an Asian Clinic Setting
Published: Monday, June 11, 2012
Author: Samanthila Waduthantri et al.

by Samanthila Waduthantri, Siew Sian Yong, Chien Hua Tan, Liang Shen, Man Xin Lee, Sangeetha Nagarajan, Mynt Htoon Hla, Louis Tong


To estimate the cost and patterns of expenditure of dry eye treatment.


We retrieved data on the type and cost of dry eye treatment in Singapore National Eye Centre from pharmacy and clinic inventory databases over a 2 year period (2008–2009) retrospectively. According to the type of treatment, data were sorted into 7 groups; meibomien gland disease (MGD) treatment, preservative free lubricant eye drops, preserved lubricant eye drops, lubricant ointments and gels, cyclosporine eye drops, oral supplements and non-pharmacological treatments/procedures. Each recorded entry was considered as one patient episode (PE). Comparisons in each group between two years were carried out using Pearson Chi-Square test. Significance level was set at alpha ?=?0.05.


Cost data from 54,052 patients were available for analysis. Total number of recorded PEs was 132,758. Total annual expenditure on dry eye treatment for year 2008 and 2009 were US$1,509,372.20 and US$1,520,797.80 respectively. Total expenditure per PE in year 2008 and 2009 were US$22.11 and US$23.59 respectively. From 2008 to 2009, there was a 0.8% increase in total annual expenditure and 6.69% increase in expenditure per PE. Pharmacological treatment attributes to 99.2% of the total expenditure with lubricants accounting for 79.3% of the total pharmacological treatment expenditure. Total number of units purchased in preservative free lubricants, cyclosporine eye drops and MGD therapy have increased significantly (p<0.001) whereas number of units purchased in preserved lubricants and ointments/gels have reduced significantly (p<0.001) from 2008 to 2009.


Dry Eye imposes a significant direct burden to health care expenditure even without considering indirect costs. Health care planners should be aware that these direct costs appear to increase over the time and more so for particular types of medications. Given the limitations of socio-economic data, true societal costs of Dry eye syndrome are likely to be much higher than estimated.