Tracking treatment adherence in newly diagnosed open-angle glaucoma
Claims data point to significant gap between diagnosis, medical/surgical therapies
Study limitations were those that are often associated with insurance claims data analyses, such as whether patients received prescriptions but did not fill them, or whether they used their medications as prescribed, she noted.
Regarding the large percentage of patients who were untreated at the 4-year time point, another study limitation was that the current analysis does not include data from office visits, and it is unknown whether the 17% of patients who were untreated missed visits or did not pick up their medications, or if other factors played a role in their lack of treatment. Future analysis will incorporate office visit data and further characterize the untreated patients, Dr. Schwartz noted.
“Even in the setting of continuous insurance coverage, adherence with topical therapy remained limited, which was consistent with previous data,” Dr. Schwartz said. “Forty-five percent of patients undergoing initial laser trabeculoplasty were not prescribed additional topical medication.”
This study lends further data to support the need for long-acting medication and/or alternative procedures that reduce or eliminate the adherence component, Dr. Schwartz concluded.