Take-Home Message: The costs associated with medications for patients with glaucoma continue to have a significant effect on adherence. Making a switch from branded to generic drugs may make a difference for some patients in certain cases.
Ann Arbor, MI—Adherence to medication can be a major challenge for patients with glaucoma, with any number of reasons for why patients struggle with their regimens, said Joshua Stein, MD, MS.
One of the major factors is medication cost, said Dr. Stein, associate professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan, and director, Center for Eye Policy and Innovation, Ann Arbor.
Quantifying the impact of cost on adherence can be difficult. Patients can be too embarrassed to admit to the financial burden imposed by the drug regimen, either when filling out research surveys or when participating in focus groups, Dr. Stein explained.
Prostaglandin analogues—among the most frequently prescribed and most effective drugs to treat open-angle glaucoma—require only once-daily dosing and have minimal side effects. However, they are also among the most expensive of the glaucoma drugs.
“Some patients pay over $100 out of pocket each month,” Dr. Stein said.