PURPOSE This study aimed to estimate the direct costs of myopia among subjects from India.
METHODS An observational study on direct costs of myopia among subjects aged between 6 and 40 years with spherical equivalent (SEQ) refraction of at least -0.50 D was conducted. Subjects were recruited from the five units of myopia management in the country, namely, regular chains, institutions, individual practitioners, wholesalers and online. A semi-structured questionnaire comprising the cost of spectacles, consultation, transportation, and frequency of visits to eye care professionals and changes in spectacles was used. Data were analysed to report the median annual cost of myopia and comparison between different degrees of myopia.
RESULTS A total of 335 subjects participated across the five units. The median age was 25.0 years (IQR: 19.0 years, 31.0 years) and the median SEQ was -3.25 D (IQR: -1.75 D, -5.50 D). The median annual direct cost of myopia was INR 4,600.00 (IQR: INR 2,300.00, INR 9,395.00) [US$ 62.16 (IQR: US$ 31.08, US$ 126.95)] with median cost of spectacles contributing to 72.8% of the total cost. There was a statistically significant difference in the annual direct costs with varying degrees of myopia (p <0.001) and units of myopia management (p <0.001).
CONCLUSIONS The study reports the annual direct costs of myopia which is more than 5% of an average per capita income in India. Strategies are needed to reduce burden of myopia correction on individuals.