Cost Effectiveness of Treatments for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in people aged ≥50 years. Wet AMD in particular has a major impact on patient quality of life and imposes substantial burdens on healthcare systems. This systematic review examined the cost-effectiveness data for current therapeutic options for wet AMD. PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched for all articles reporting original cost-effectiveness analyses of wet AMD treatments. The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination and Cochrane Library databases were searched for all wet AMD health technology assessments (HTAs). Overall, 44 publications were evaluated in full and included in this review. A broad range of cost-effectiveness analyses were identified for the most commonly used therapies for wet AMD (pegaptanib, ranibizumab and photodynamic therapy [PDT] with verteporfin). Three studies evaluated the cost effectiveness of bevacizumab in wet AMD. A small number of analyses of other treatments, such as laser photocoagulation and antioxidant vitamins, were also found. Ranibizumab was consistently shown to be cost effective for wet AMD in comparison with all the approved wet AMD therapies (four of the five studies identified showed ranibizumab was cost effective vs usual care, PDT or pegaptanib); however, there was considerable variation in the methodology for cost-effectiveness modelling between studies. Findings from the HTAs supported those from the PubMed and EMBASE searches; of the seven HTAs that included ranibizumab, six (including HTAs for Australia, Canada and the UK) concluded that ranibizumab was cost effective for the treatment of wet AMD; most compared ranibizumab with PDT and/or pegaptanib. By contrast, HTAs at best generally recommended pegaptanib or PDT for restricted use in subsets of patients with wet AMD. In the literature analyses, pegaptanib was found to be cost effective versus usual/best supportive care (including PDT) or no treatment in one of five studies; the other four studies found pegaptanib was of borderline cost effectiveness depending on the stage of disease and time horizon. PDT was shown to be cost effective versus usual/best supportive care or no treatment in five of nine studies; two studies showed that PDT was of borderline cost effectiveness depending on baseline visual acuity, and two showed that PDT was not cost effective. We identified no robust studies that properly evaluated the cost effectiveness of bevacizumab in wet AMD.
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