Adjunctive therapy patterns in glaucoma patients using prostaglandin analogs
Jordana K Schmier,1 Carolyn K Hulme-Lowe,1 David W Covert2
1Exponent, Alexandria, VA, USA; 2Alcon Research Ltd., Fort Worth, TX, USA
Purpose: To analyze patterns of use of adjunctive therapies among new initiators of topical prostaglandin analogs (PGAs) in a managed care population.
Methods: The study cohort included patients in a claims database who initiated PGA therapy between June 2007 and April 2011. Patients who had one or more adjunctive therapy prescriptions during 24 months of follow-up were included. Patterns of adjunctive therapy use were identified and compared between patients who had one or two fills of the initial adjunctive therapy and those who had three or more.
Results: There were 16,486 eligible beneficiaries. Of these, 5,933 (36%) had one or more adjunctive therapies within 24 months from the start of the PGA, 82% of whom started adjunctive therapy within 12 months. About 28% of patients started adjunctive therapy with a fixed-combination product; 45% of these patients started within the first 30 days. Overall, a large number of patients (42%) required adjunctive therapy within 30 days. Twenty-five percent of patients had only one or two prescriptions of their initial adjunctive therapy; of these patients, 74% discontinued adjunctive therapy altogether.
Conclusion: Approximately 30% of patients starting glaucoma therapy will require adjunctive therapy within 1 year, and many receive a fixed-combination product as initial adjunctive therapy shortly after starting glaucoma therapy. This suggests a prescribing trend toward earlier, more aggressive drug therapy to control pressure and minimize disease progression. We found that compliance with adjunctive therapy continues to be a problem for patients, which could be attributed to a number of treatment burden and economic factors.
Keywords: costs and cost analysis, drug therapy, combination, polypharmacy
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