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Eunmee Yook, Robert D Fechtner, Albert S Khouri; Generic glaucoma medication costs: a 2 year analysis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5585.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Generic medication use has become mainstream with recent health care changes, however prescribers may not be aware of price fluctuations of medications over time. We conducted a prospective, observational study to analyze variations of generic glaucoma medication costs for 2014-2015.
Cash “out of pocket” prices were collected from 5 national pharmacy chains (pharmacy A,B,C,D,E) after inquiries were made over telephone and web search. Medications included: 1) Latanoprost, 2) Timolol, 3) Dorzolamide, 4) Timolol /dorzolamide, 5) Brimonidine 0.15% 6) Brimonidine 0.2%. Data from 2015 was adjusted by the U.S. inflation rate for statistical purposes. Means, standard deviation, and percent change were calculated. Data from 2014 and 2015 were analyzed using Student T-Test.
Means and standard deviation (SD) for medication costs are shown in table 1. We found that all 6 generic medications had increased in cost at a greater rate than the national inflation rate (P = 0.0098). When looking at each of the medication costs, the percent increase in cost ranged from 2.9% to 45%. Comparisons were also made between 2014 and 2015 for each pharmacy. Variation ranged 1.5% at pharmacy E to 22% at Pharmacy C. Comparing 2014 and inflation-adjusted 2015 prices, Timolol 0.5% had the greatest increase of 45%, then Brimonidine 0.2% with a 33% increase, Brimonidine 0.15% with a 10% increase, Latanoprost with a 6% increase, Dorzolamide with a 5.9% increase, and Timolol/dorzolamide with a 2.9% increase. Additionally, the increase in prices were variable across different pharmacies.
The change in cost of 6 generic glaucoma medications across 5 national pharmacies was significant and very variable. The increase in cost of most generic medications significantly surpassed inflation. Cash paying patients and providers are encouraged to explore costs of different medications at various pharmacies in order to lower health care costs.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
Table 1. 2015 costs, mean, standard deviation (SD)
Table 2. Amount and percentage increase in costs from 2014
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