Purpose: To compare the direct cost of treating glaucoma patients with Trabectome, iStent, and endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP) versus topical medications in Ontario, Canada. Costs are projected over a 6-year period, and presented on a per-patient level from the perspective of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
Methods: The per-bottle cost of each medication was obtained from the 2011 Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) formulary. A wastage adjustment fee was added to the cost, as was a pharmacy markup, and an ODB dispensing fee. Previously published medication prescription rates were used to determine the frequency with which each medication is prescribed. We estimated the overall cost by taking a weighted average of the cost of each class of glaucoma medications.
The cost of each glaucoma device was determined by contacting local distributors. We then added the cost of disposables used during surgery (viscoelastic and keratome) to the cost of each procedure. Start-up costs for each device and surgeons’ fees were excluded from the overall cost.
Results: At 6 years, treatment with the Trabectome offered a cumulative cost savings of $279.23, $1572.55, and $2424.71 per patient versus monodrug, bidrug, and tridrug therapy, respectively. A cumulative cost difference of −$20.77, $1272.55, and $2124.71 per patient were found when comparing iStent versus monodrug, bidrug, and tridrug therapy, respectively. Treatment with ECP yielded a cost savings of $779.23, $2072.55, and $2924.71 per patient versus monodrug, bidrug, and tridrug therapy, respectively.
Conclusions: Over a projected period of 6 years, the Trabectome, iStent, and ECP may all offer a modest cost savings to OHIP versus the cost of glaucoma medication. Further analysis of direct and indirect costs to patients as well as quality of life assessments will help further delineate the role of these treatments in the glaucoma treatment paradigm.