High Health Care Burden Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

A claims-based study found that the clinical and economic burden of treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) is significant for U.S. commercial health plans and the health care system. The results of the study were presented during AMCP eLearning Days in a poster presentation titled “Clinical and Economic Burden of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Commercially Insured US Patient Population (2015-2018).”

Researchers used information from the IQVIA claims database to identify 6,076 U.S. patients aged ≥50 years with commercial insurance who had one or more claims for nAMD between 2016 and 2017. Patients were stratified by disease status (active choroid neovascularization [CNV; n=60.1%], inactive CNV [n=17.2%], and inactive scar [n=5.9%]) and laterality (unilateral [n=74.7%] and bilateral [n=23.4%]) and followed for a year. Researchers estimated annual all-cause health care resource utilization and direct medical costs during the 12-month post-index period.

During follow-up, 65.8% of patients used anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy. Mean annual outpatient nAMD visit burden was 6.6 (standard deviation [SD], 4.8). Patients with active CNV had the highest utilization (7.7 [SD, 4.6]).

Among those receiving anti-VEGF treatment, mean duration of therapy was 7.7 months (SD, 4.5) over a one-year period. Overall, mean anti-VEGF related outpatient visit burden was 3.9 (SD, 4.2), with the highest utilization observed in patients with active CNV (5.1 [SD, 4.2]).

Mean nAMD-related outpatient costs were $6,838 (SD, $10,794), which was mostly related to anti-VEGF injection-related outpatient costs $5,357 (SD, $9,380). For the active CNV group, mean per-patient costs of nAMD-related outpatient visits ($8,657 [SD, $11,570]) were approximately four times higher than inactive CNV costs ($2,406 [SD, $5,510]) and seven times higher than inactive scar costs ($1,198 [SD, $3,035]). Mean nAMD-related outpatient costs were higher among patients with bilateral disease compared with unilateral disease.

“Appropriate treatment [of these patients] may reduce the proportions of patients with active CNV and preserve visual acuity while lowering costs,” the researchers concluded.

The study was sponsored by Allergan.

Almony A, Keyloun K, Shah-Manek B, Chen C, Multani J, McGuiness C, et al. Clinical and Economic Burden of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Commercially Insured US Patient Population (2015-2018). Abstract H3. Presented during AMCP eLearning Days, April 20-24.