Cost Analysis of Glaucoma Medications: A 3-Year Review


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Abstract

PurposeTo evaluate yearly cost of glaucoma medications at a university-affiliated teaching hospital with its own health maintenance organization from 1998 through 2000.MethodsWe retrieved data from the Scott and White prescription claims file for 1,484 patients concerning Health Plan glaucoma-medication prescriptions for the years 1998 through 2000. Patient inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) use of a single or fixed-combination topical glaucoma medication during all four quarters of at least one full-year, 2) treatment of both eyes, 3) participation in the Health Plan prescription program, and 4) prescriptions filled at pharmacies participating in the Health Plan prescription program.ResultsOver this 3-year period, the most costly medication per patient per year was dorzolamide hydrochloride-timolol maleate (Cosopt; Merck, West Point, PA [$470]), followed by betaxolol hydrochloride (Betoptic-S; Alcon, Fort Worth, TX [$370]), latanoprost (Xalatan; Pharmacia and Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI [$352]), dorzolamide hydrochloride (Trusopt; Merck, West Point, PA [$288]), brimonidine tartrate (Alphagan; Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Irvine, CA [$273]), brinzolamide (Azopt; Alcon, Fort Worth, TX [$243]), timolol maleate 0.5% in a gel-forming solution (Timoptic-XE 0.5%; Merck, West Point, PA [$190]), carteolol hydrochloride (Ocupress; Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Rockville, MD [$183]), generic levobunolol hydrochloride 0.5% ($138), metipranolol (Optipranolol; Bausch and Lomb Pharmaceuticals, Tampa, FL [$135]), and generic timolol maleate 0.5% ($133).ConclusionDifferences in yearly cost exist among topical glaucoma medications.

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