Aton expands programs for preservative-free timolol

September 2, 2009

Aton Pharma has launched new education, distribution, sampling, and reimbursement programs for its preservative-free formulation of timolol maleate (Timoptic in Ocudose), which according to the company is the only preservative-free medication for glaucoma available in the United States.

Lawrenceville, NJ — Aton Pharma has launched new education, distribution, sampling, and reimbursement programs for its preservative-free formulation of timolol maleate (Timoptic in Ocudose), which according to the company is the only preservative-free medication for glaucoma available in the United States.

Aton acquired the U.S. marketing rights to the product line from Merck & Co. in February. The non-selective beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agent is indicated for the treatment of elevated IOP in patients with ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma.

The company said it plans to support the drug with advertising in ophthalmic publications, a coupon program, direct mail promotion, and a patient information Web site, www.ocudose.com . Its sales force will re-introduce the timolol formulation to eye-care professionals.

“We will concentrate on enhancing distribution, sampling, and reimbursement assistance while increasing patient and provider awareness,” said Michael G. Wells, chief executive officer of Aton. “With [this formulation of timolol], we are able [to] serve yet another niche market that is greatly underserved: glaucoma patients who will benefit from preservative-free medications.”

William Trattler, MD, director of cornea at the Center of Excellence in Eyecare in Miami, said, “A preservative-free beta blocker is a consideration for many glaucoma patients, who must use medication frequently and for long periods of time. This is a particular concern for those who already have dry eye or are at increased risk for ocular surface disease, such as the elderly, those [taking] oral medications associated with dry eye, and patients with existing lid margin disease.”