Objective To determine the most cost-effective treatment option for patients with newly diagnosed mild open-angle glaucoma: observation only, treatment with generic topical prostaglandin analogs (PGAs), or treatment with laser trabeculoplasty (LTP).
Methods Using a Markov model with a 25-year horizon, we compared the incremental cost-effectiveness of treating newly diagnosed mild open-angle glaucoma with PGAs, LTP, or observation only.
Results The incremental cost-effectiveness of LTP over no treatment is $16 824 per quality-adjusted life year. By comparison, the incremental cost-effectiveness of PGAs over no treatment is $14 179 per quality-adjusted life year, and they provide greater health-related quality of life relative to LTP. If PGAs are 25% less effective owing to poor patient adherence, LTP can confer greater value.
Conclusions Prostaglandin analogs and LTP are both cost-effective options for the management of newly diagnosed mild open-angle glaucoma. Assuming optimal medication adherence, PGAs confer greater value compared with LTP. However, when assuming more realistic levels of medication adherence (making them 25% less effective than the documented effectiveness reported in clinical trials), at current prices for PGAs, LTP may be a more cost-effective alternative.