In an effort to quantify the return on research investment, an article in the American Journal of Ophthalmology has found that an invention by ARVO members, supported with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), has saved patients and Medicare billions of dollars through reduced drug costs. 

Known as optical coherence tomography (OCT), the imaging technology is used around the world to help clinicians determine when to treat patients suffering from a blinding condition called wet age-related macular degeneration (wet-AMD) with effective, but expensive, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs.

Paper highlights include:

  • $9 billion: Medicare savings from clinicians using OCT to optimize the injection schedule of anti-VEGF drugs for patients with wet-AMD
  • $2.2 billion: Wet-AMD patient savings from reduced spending on drug copays
  • $0.4 billion: Total investment over 20 years made by NIH and NSF to invent and develop the technology
  • 2,100%: Return on taxpayer investment

The paper has been made Open Access through special support from Research to Prevent Blindness.

Read the Paper