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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-24

Socioeconomics of long-term glaucoma therapy in India


1 Glaucoma Research Facility and Clinical Services, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Biostatistics, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Bhagabat Nayak
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.151458

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Purpose: To determine the socioeconomic impact of long-term glaucoma therapy. Materials and Methods: One hundred and fifty consecutive glaucoma patients on medical therapy, following up at our glaucoma service for at least 6 months were recruited. A questionnaire regarding monthly income, cost of glaucoma medications prescribed, availability of medications, travel time, time spent in review clinics, compliance, education status, medical insurance and systemic or local side-effects was administered. Results: The patients seen at the tertiary government hospital had an average monthly income of Rs. 10,912/- (range: Rs. 500/- to Rs. 50,000/-) with approximately 56% of the patients having an income of less than Rs. 5000/month. The expenditure on anti-glaucoma medications ranged from 0.3% in high income group to 123% of their monthly gross income in low income group (P < 0.0001). The total expenditure including travel, stay, and loss of wages of patients and accompanying persons ranged from 1.6% in high income group to 137% of the monthly income in low income group (P < 0.0001). Mean time required for a glaucoma clinic visit was 15.66 h, (range: 6-96 h/month). About 2.7% experienced systemic side-effects and 21.3% had complaints of ocular adverse effects. About 90% of the patients were compliant. 92% were not covered by any insurance plan/government reimbursement for their treatment. Conclusions: Medical therapy for glaucoma is an economic burden to many patients and should be individualized, according to the socioeconomic status, availability of drugs and the required distance to travel to reach the specialist clinics.


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