June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Variation analysis of generic topical glaucoma medication pricing
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Eunmee Yook
    Ophthalmology, Rutgers-NJMS, Hoboken, NJ
  • Robert Fechtner
    Ophthalmology, Rutgers-NJMS, Hoboken, NJ
  • Albert Khouri
    Ophthalmology, Rutgers-NJMS, Hoboken, NJ
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Eunmee Yook, None; Robert Fechtner, None; Albert Khouri, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 2131. doi:
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      Eunmee Yook, Robert Fechtner, Albert Khouri; Variation analysis of generic topical glaucoma medication pricing. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):2131.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

Generic medications are considered a cost efficient alternative for medical management of glaucoma. Prescribers may not be aware of the variability among prices of generic medications. Through a prospective, observational study, we hypothesize a significant cost difference among common generic glaucoma medications across various national pharmacy chains.

 
Methods
 

Data was collected from 5 national pharmacy chains (pharmacy A,B,C,D,E) after comprehensive inquiries were made over telephone and web data mining. Most commonly used generic medications were chosen: 1) Latanoprost, 2) Timolol, 3) Dorzolamide, 4) Timolol /dorzolamide fixed combimnation, 5) Brimonidine 0.15% and 6) Brimonidine 0.2%. Cash “out of pocket” prices were collected. Means, standard deviation, and range were calculated. ANOVA & Student T-Test were performed for comparisons.

 
Results
 

Range, mean, and standard deviation (SD) for the prices of 6 generic medications across 5 national pharmacy chains are shown in table 1. We found that the range of mean prices for the 6 generic medications ranged from $9.80 (Timolol) to $96.95 (Brimonidine 0.15%). Analysis of variance comparing the mean prices of medications showed statistical significance (P-value 1.45E-05). Mean cost of 6 generic medications was calculated for each pharmacy which ranged from $28.30 to $65.06. The cash cost difference between pharmacy with the lowest (D) and highest (B) mean prices was statistically significant (p=0.02). Latanoprost had the highest cost variability with a % difference of 464% between the cheapest and most expensive pharmacy chain. The medication with lowest variability was Brimonidine 0.15%, however across all pharmacies this medication was among the most expensive options. Timolol 0.5% had the lowest cost and exhibited the least price variation.

 
Conclusions
 

When comparing generic topical glaucoma medication costs, we found statistically significant differences in prices. While generic medications can be a cost efficient method to treating glaucoma, out of pocket expense varied widely among 5 national pharmacy chains. Latanoprost had the greatest percent difference of 464%, between the lowest and highest prices with 5/6 medications exhibiting large % differences in prices that exceed 200%. Based on this analysis, prescribers should be aware of wide variations among generic medications costs which can influence affordability to patients.  

 
Generic medications by pharmacy
 
Generic medications by pharmacy

 
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