Cost-Effectiveness Models in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Issues and Challenges
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common ophthalmic condition that can have few symptoms in its early stage but can progress to major visual impairment. While there are no treatments for early-stage AMD, there are multiple modalities of treatment for advanced disease. Given the increasing prevalence of the disease, there are dozens of analyses of cost effectiveness of AMD treatments, but methods and approaches vary broadly. The goal of this review was to identify, characterize, and critique published models in AMD and provide guidance for their interpretation. After a literature review was performed to identify studies, and exclusion criteria applied to limit the review to studies comparing treatments for AMD, we compared methods across the 36 studies meeting the review criteria. To some extent, variation was related to targeting different audiences or acknowledging the most appropriate population for a given treatment. However, the review identified potential areas of uncertainty and difficulty in interpretation, particularly regarding duration of observation periods and the importance of visual acuity as an endpoint or a proxy for patient-reported utilities. We urge thoughtful consideration of these study characteristics when comparing results.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No funding was received for this study. Jordana Schmier and Carolyn Hulme-Lowe are employees of Exponent, Inc., a scientific and engineering consulting firm.
Both authors developed an outline and approach for the study, and Carolyn Hulme-Lowe conducted the initial literature search. Both authors reviewed and abstracted articles, and Jordana Schmier drafted the first version of the manuscript. Both authors worked to revise the manuscript and provided their approval of the final version.
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