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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 406-410

What the comprehensive economics of blindness and visual impairment can help us understand


Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Rm 606, Baltimore MD 21205, USA

Correspondence Address:
Kevin D Frick
Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Rm 606, Baltimore MD 21205
USA
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Source of Support: Research grant from the Brien Holden Vision Institute to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.100535

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Since the year 2000, the amount written about the economics of blindness and visual impairment has increased substantially. In some cases, the studies listed under this heading are calculations of the costs related to vision impairment and blindness at a national or global level; in other cases the studies examine the cost-effectiveness of strategies to prevent or modify visual impairment or blindness that are intended to be applied as a guide to treatment recommendations and coverage decisions. In each case the references are just examples of many that could be cited. These important studies have helped advocates, policy makers, practitioners, educators, and others interested in eye and vision health to understand the magnitude of the impact that visual impairment and blindness have on the world, regions, nations, and individuals and the tradeoffs that need to be made to limit the impact. However, these studies only begin to tap into the insights that economic logic might offer to those interested in this field. This paper presents multiple case studies that demonstrate that the economics of blindness and visual impairment encompasses much more than simply measures of the burden of the condition. Case studies demonstrating the usefulness of economic insight include analysis of the prevention of conditions that lead to impairment, decisions about refractive error and presbyopia, decisions about disease and injury treatment, decisions about behavior among those with uncorrectable impairment, and decisions about how to regulate the market all have important economic inputs.


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