Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2015, Article ID 243401, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/243401
Research Article

Trends in Glaucoma Medication Expenditures under Universal Health Coverage: A National Population-Based Longitudinal Survey in Taiwan

1Department of Ophthalmology, Changhua Christian Hospital, 135 Nanxiao Street, Changhua City, Changhua County 500, Taiwan
2Department of Healthcare Administration Management, Asia University, 500 Lioufeng Road, Wufeng, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
3Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, 2 Yude Road, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
4Department of Orthopedics, Changhua Christian Hospital, 135 Nanxiao Street, Changhua City, Changhua County 500, Taiwan

Received 29 March 2015; Revised 20 May 2015; Accepted 25 May 2015

Academic Editor: Van C. Lansingh

Copyright © 2015 Shin-Lin Chiu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Medical care in Taiwan is well known for its low cost, high efficiency, high quality, excellent medical accessibility, and high equity. We investigate the trends in medication expenditures for glaucoma from 1997 to 2010. The results show that higher medical expenditures were incurred by patients who were aged ≥40 years, male patients, and patients in the highest salary population whereas lower medical expenditures were incurred by blue-collar workers. The medications with the most significant increases in expenditure were prostaglandin analogs (PGAs), α-agonists, and fixed combinations, whereas the medications with the most significant decreases in expenditure were β-blockers and cholinergic agonists. The number of trabeculectomies shows two downward break points in 1999 and 2000 when PGAs were listed and were reimbursed. These results suggest socioeconomic disparities in glaucoma care, as well as understanding of the changes in the expenditure of glaucoma medications under such universal health insurance coverage system.