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New publication on the economic impact of blindness in Europe

The purose of the publication is to estimate the annual loss of productivity from blindness and moderate to severe visual impairment (MSVI) in the population aged >50 years in the European Union (EU)

The estimated number of blind people in the EU population aged >50 years is ~1.28 million, with a further 9.99 million living with MSVI. Based on the three models, the estimated cost of blindness is €7.81 billion, €6.29 billion and €17.29 billion and that of MSVI €18.02 billion, €24.80 billion and €39.23 billion, with their combined costs €25.83 billion, €31.09 billion and €56.52 billion, respectively. The estimates from the MW and adjusted GDP-PPP models were generally comparable, whereas the GNI model estimates were higher, probably reflecting the lack of adjustment for unemployment. These results led to the conclusion, that the  cost of blindness and MSVI in the EU is substantial. Wider use of available cost-effective treatment and prevention strategies may reduce the burden significantly.

The study was commissioned by Novartis Pharma. Novartis provided the funding to Deloitte to carry out country specific burden of illness assessments. The findings from the study were shared in full with the authors (UC, RB, CF, JAL). EB and ROS declare that they are employees of Deloitte. The authors UC, RB, CF and JAL declare no relevant conflicts of interest. Novartis employees were not involved in the construction of the manuscript.

For further information, please refer to theoriginal publication:

Usha Chakravarthy, Eliana Biundo, Rasit Omer Saka, Christina Fasser, Rupert
Bourne & Julie-Anne Little (2017) The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe, Ophthalmic
Epidemiology, 24:4, 239-247, DOI: 10.1080/09286586.2017.1281426

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Published online: 30 Jun 2017.