Purpose: To study dry eye medication use and expenditures from 2001 to 2006 using a nationally representative sample of US adults. Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed dry eye medication use and expenditures of participants of the 2001 to 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a nationally representative subsample of the National Health Interview Survey. After adjusting for survey design and for inflation using the 2009 inflation index, data from 147 unique participants aged 18 years or older using the prescription medications Restasis and Blephamide were analyzed. The main outcome measures were dry eye medication use and expenditures from 2001 to 2006. Results: Dry eye medication use and expenditures increased between the years 2001 and 2006, with the mean expenditure per patient per year being $55 in 2001 to 2002 (n = 29), $137 in 2003 to 2004 (n = 32), and $299 in 2005 to 2006 (n = 86). This finding was strongly driven by the introduction of topical cyclosporine emulsion 0.05% (Restasis; Allergan, Irvine, CA). In analysis pooled over all survey years, demographic factors associated with dry eye medication expenditures included gender (female: $244 vs. male: $122, P < 0.0001), ethnicity (non-Hispanic: $228 vs. Hispanic: $106, P < 0.0001), and education (greater than high school: $250 vs. less than high school: $100, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: We found a pattern of increasing dry eye medication use and expenditures from 2001 to 2006. Predictors of higher dry eye medication expenditures included female gender, non-Hispanic ethnicity, and greater than a high school education.
- dry eye syndrome
- Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
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