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Andrea A. Zin, Marcia Pinto, Cynthia Magluta; Burden of severe retinopathy of prematurity in Brazil. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):1427.
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To estimate direct cost of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening and treatment and indirect costs of ROP related blindness in Brazil and to perform a budget impact analysis (BIA) of ROP health care for the Brazilian Governmental Health System (SUS).
Analysis was carried out from societal point of view. Brazilian national health statistics were used to estimate the number of premature babies needing eye examination and ROP treatment in 2009. The direct costs of ROP screening and treatment, including medication, amortized cost of equipment and days in NICU, were estimated. The indirect costs were assessed based on the loss of productivity of caregivers considering Brazilian minimum wage adjusted by employment and incapacity rates. BIA was performed comparing direct costs to the total budget available to improve the national perinatal program. Sensitivity analysis was done considering the frequency of severe ROP and the Brazilian mean annual income.
Yearly, it was estimated that 22,498 prematures babies would need to be examined and that 2,250 would need laser treatment for severe ROP. The estimated direct cost of ROP was $1,344 (USD) per child, while the indirect cost amounted to $3,509 considering one caregiver per family. BIA disclosed that ROP screening and treatment would impact about 0.77% on the annual budget available to strengthen perinatal care in Brazil.
Indirect costs far exceeded the direct costs per child per year. The budget impact of the implementation of a governmental ROP screening and treatment program in Brazil is negligible.
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