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Nur Cardakli, Richard Imler, Jr.; Comparing the Cost per Drop of the Various Prostaglandin Analogs in the Treatment of Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):5025.
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Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable irreversible blindness. Topical prostaglandin analogs can be the first line of treatment for glaucoma. They are effective, used once a day, and have few side effects, but the cost can be a concern. The purpose of this research was to measure and compare the cost per drop of the various topical prostaglandin analogs, assuming the patient has no prescription insurance coverage.
The three branded prostaglandin analogs used were Lumigan 0.01% (Allergan), Xalatan 0.005% (Pfizer), and Travatan Z 0.004% (Alcon). The generic version of Xalatan, Latanoprost 0.005%, became available in March 2011 as the only generic option. Latanoprost is produced by several different companies. The one obtained from local pharmacies was produced by Falcon Pharmaceuticals. Three 2.5 mL bottles of each medication were obtained and the cost was determined from three different pharmacies. The number of drops in each bottle was counted and the volume of the liquid was measured. The cost per drop for each medication at the pharmacies was calculated.
The average number of drops per 2.5 mL bottle was greatest for Lumigan (96.7), followed by Xalatan (94), and was least for Latanoprost (82) and Travatan Z (81.7). The actual volume measured per bottle ranged from 2.4 to 2.8 mL. The average cost was $106.42 for Xalatan, $103.33 for Travatan Z, and $96.88 for Lumigan. Latanoprost was least expensive with an average price of $45.80. The price of each medication varied significantly across the three different pharmacies studied. The average calculated cost per drop was $1.26 for Travatan Z, $1.13 for Xalatan, $1.00 for Lumigan, and $0.56 for Latanoprost.
The cost per drop of the various prostaglandin analogs was studied. Lumigan had the most number of drops and Travatan Z had the least. The price of a 2.5 mL bottle and the cost per drop of each medication at the different pharmacies were significantly lower for the generic Latanoprost. There was significant variability in the pricing of each medication among the different pharmacies. Latanoprost was the most cost-effective. Further research is needed to look into issues of efficacy and cost of the various Latanoprost products available in comparison to the branded products.
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