Purpose of review: Anterior ocular inflammatory disease (AOID) affects more that 40% of the U.S. population, which includes ocular allergies, various forms of infectious conjunctivitis, and dry eye diseases (tear film dysfunction). This review evaluates the recent economic costs of AOID treatment.
Recent findings: Rapid advances in pharmacotherapy of the anterior surface of the eye have been made as the expansion of the immunopathophysiology underlying these disorders ranging from the innate Toll-like receptors to the more specific IgE receptors are being unravelled. Even with these advances in AOID immunopathophysiology, progressive new treatments that address inflammatory mediators and their receptors with advancements in the development of ophthalmic remain limited. In 2011, AOID represents 40% of cost associated with ophthalmic drugs focusing on dry eye (31%), anti-infectives (30%), anti-allergics (25%), and anti-inflammatory agents (14%). With rising treatment costs, a need for cost-effective medicines remains to be pursued along with the development of treatment algorithms to maximize the therapeutic outcomes.
Summary: The economic burden of AOID has dramatically increased in recent years, with prescription drug expenditure approaching approximately $7 billion. There is an increasing need for major investment in this sector to improve outcomes as well as provide more effective alternative treatment modalities to the current options.