Characteristics and Treatment Patterns of Newly Diagnosed Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients in the United States: An Administrative Database Analysis

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Ophthalmology Glaucoma


Purpose: To characterize newly diagnosed primary open-angle glaucoma (OAG) patients and to describe their treatment journey in United States clinical practice according to the use of topical therapy, laser trabeculoplasty, and surgical procedures.

Design: Retrospective claims database study.

Participants: Patients with at least 2 diagnoses of OAG 7 days or more apart and within 1 year, with the first (index) diagnosis in 2010, at least 30 months of continuous enrollment before index diagnosis with no OAG diagnosis or medication (exception for ocular hypertension diagnosis), and 48 months of continuous enrollment.

Methods: Analysis of United States healthcare insurance claims database (July 2007-December 2014).

Main outcome measures: Treatment patterns and ophthalmology visits were evaluated over 48 months in 4 cohorts based on initial therapy after the index diagnosis: (1) drug monotherapy, (2) combination drug therapy, (3) glaucoma procedure, or (4) no claims for treatment. Treatment modification was defined as an addition to or change in drug therapy or procedure.

Results: In total, 83.0% of patients (5120/6172) began a drug therapy (69.5%) or underwent a procedure initially (13.5%); topical prostaglandin analogs (n = 2887/5120 [56.4%]) and laser trabeculoplasty (n = 705/5120 [13.8%]) were the most common. During the 4-year follow-up, 58.3% of patients (2109/3620) who began drug monotherapy experienced no further treatment modification. Over this period, 43.8% of patients who began treatment (2242/5120) experienced a treatment modification to the first treatment. Two thirds (1505/2242 [67.1%]) of these patients subsequently underwent a third treatment modification. Ophthalmology visits declined over time regardless of initial therapy, with the greatest decrease among the untreated and first-treatment procedure cohorts.

Conclusions: The high rates of 2 or 3 treatment modifications over the 4-year period suggest an unmet need for glaucoma therapies with durable and predictable actions.

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Publication Date

Spring 3-2021