Tracking treatment adherence in newly diagnosed open-angle glaucoma
Claims data point to significant gap between diagnosis, medical/surgical therapies
A total of 6,172 patients (53% women, 47% men) met the study inclusion criteria. The mean patient age was 64.1 years.
During the 4 years after the index OAG diagnosis, Dr. Schwartz noted that 5,120 (83.0%) patients with OAG were treated medically, by laser trabeculoplasty or surgically. This left a substantial percentage (17%) who had not been treated by 4 years after they initially received the OAG diagnosis.
“The most common medical treatments were a prostaglandin analogue prescribed in 75.9% of patients and a beta-blocker in 26.1%,” she said. “Laser trabeculoplasty was the most common procedures and used in 25.2% as the first line.”
Patients who underwent laser trabeculoplasty did so less than 5 months after receiving the diagnosis of OAG.
Data also showed that 3,592 (70.2%) patients who underwent treatment during the 4 years after the initial diagnosis were treated with anti-glaucoma medications eye drops only. Of that group of patients, 58.7% had insurance claims for only one class of medication during that time.
In addition, of 4,332 (85%) treated-patients received topical medications as their first therapy, and in more than half (54%), the therapy was not changes during the course of the study. Of that last group of patients, only about 25% continued to refill their prescriptions through the end of the 4-year study.
The most frequently prescribed, second-line medications were beta-blockers, alpha agonists, and fixed combinations of these medications (brimonidine–timolol) were the most common second-line treatments with a median of one previously prescribed medication. The median times from the initial OAG diagnosis to the first prescriptions of those medications were 184, 299, and 241 days, respectively, according to Dr. Schwartz.