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Hreem B. Dave, Luz Gordillo, Zhou Yang, Monica S. Zhang, Timothy W. Olsen; The Societal Burden of Blindness Secondary to Retinopathy of Prematurity in Lima, Peru. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3152.
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To determine the cost effectiveness of laser treatment for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in Peru in comparison to no intervention.
The direct cost of treatment and the indirect lifetime cost of neonatal-onset blindness to the society were estimated. The direct cost of ROP-related treatment was determined using data from a social security sector hospital NICU, including the amortized cost of equipment, labor cost, medication, and follow up care. The Peruvian national economic data, frequency of blindness from ROP, per capita gross domestic product, gender adjusted income distribution, life-expectancy adjustment, and average years spent in the work force were used to calculate indirect costs. Indirect costs per child that were avoided by treatment were calculated using outcomes from the CRYO-ROP and ETROP studies. Total cost savings per child was determined.
For ROP-related neonatal blindness in Peru, we estimate the total indirect cost at $79,101 (USD) per child while the direct cost of treatment with a diode laser per child is $2,496. The societal lifetime cost saving per child is $76,605 with laser treatment.
The societal burden of blindness far exceeds the costs of treatment per child. Since the mean annual income per educated adult in Peru is $8,000, treatment of a single child is equivalent to employing nine, full-time educated adults for an entire year. Proper screening and treatment of ROP prevents blindness and leads to substantial cost saving for society. Therefore, increasing support for early screening, treatment and prevention of ROP is significantly cost-effective and prevents unnecessary blindness.
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