• Journal Article

A pharmacoeconomic analysis of rimexolone for the treatment of ophthalmic inflammatory conditions

Citation

Halpern, M., Palmer, C. S., Foster, S., Pal, A., & Battista, C. (1998). A pharmacoeconomic analysis of rimexolone for the treatment of ophthalmic inflammatory conditions. American Journal of Managed Care, 4(6), 854-862.

Abstract

Topical steroids are the standard first-line therapy for treating ophthalmic inflammatory conditions. However, potent ophthalmic steroids can lead to an elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP), which can result in greater medical resource utilization and increased costs. We have developed a decision analysis model from a societal perspective to evaluate the costs and consequences of the treatment of ophthalmic inflammatory conditions with two potent topical steroids: prednisolone and rimexolone. Data for the model are based on information from clinical trials, national data-bases, published literature, and responses by ophthalmologists to a questionnaire on treatment patterns for elevated IOP. Three steroid-responsive conditions are examined separately with the model: uveitis; postoperative inflammation following cataract surgery; and other ophthalmic inflammatory conditions (blepharitis, episcleritis, postoperative refractive surgery, and corneal transplant). The model evaluates patients with acute conditions versus those with chronic conditions and those with mild to moderate elevation of IOP versus those with severe elevation of IOP. Although the unit cost of rimexolone is higher than that of prednisolone, use of rimexolone leads to cost savings because the incidence of elevated IOP is decreased. If rimexolone is used instead of prednisolone for the treatment of ophthalmic inflammatory conditions, the estimated cost saved (at 1995 AWP prices) is approximately $10 million across the entire US population. The savings across the health maintenance organization population on an annualized basis is approximately $3.9 million. Even if rimexolone were priced higher than current market charges (at 130% to 150% of the AWP of prednisolone), cost savings ranging from the $2.9 million to $720,000 would accrue with use of rimexolone compared with prednisolone. However if, rimexolone were priced at 160% of the AWP of prednisolone, its use would incur an additional cost of $300,000. The primary medical resource utilized in treating elevated IOP in ophthalmic inflammatory conditions is physician visits. Medications are responsible for only one-fifth to one-third of the total cost of treating elevated IOP. This analysis indicates that rimexolone is associated with decreased medical resource utilization and cost savings to the entire healthcare system