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Alexander Kunze, Kristina Spaniol, Gerd Geerling; Evaluation of different applicator-systems for autologous serum eye-drops. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):5436.
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Autologous serum eye-drops (ESAT) are an efficient therapy for many diseases of the ocular surface, as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or persistent epithelial defects. Apart from conventional eye drop bottles recently new applicator-systems are available for the production of autologous serum eye drops in a closed system without the need of a health care clean room. Aim of this study was to compare these systems concerning costs, efficiency and user-friendliness.
Conventional 5 ml eye drop bottles (distribution: Co. Zscheile and Klinger), fusible tube-segments (Co. MacoPharma) and pharmaceutical one-way phials (Co. Meise) were evaluated. The three systems were used independently by healthy probands (n=10), by patients with restricted ability in applying eye drops (n=1) and by visually impaired probands (n=10). Data concerning the user-friendliness of each system was collected on the basis of a questionnaire. The individual costs of the different systems including fabrication were determined.
There was a considerable cost differential between the evaluated systems: the price for a three-month dose (half-year dose) was 667,55 € (1011,80 €) for the one-way phials, 494,30 € (559,70 €) for the eye drop bottles and 359,20 € (385,10 €) for the tube-segments. The probands rated the usage of the eye drop bottles and the usage of the one-way phials to be similarly easy. Patients with impairments of the hands rated the usage of the tube-segments to be most difficult. Handling of the cutable tube-segments was rated similarly poor by probands of all groups. In knowlegde of the prize for each system 67% of the probands choose the conventional eye drop bottles.
Patients with diseases of the ocular surface mostly need a protracted topical therapy. Additionally they often have manual or visual impairments. In our study conventional eye drop bottles were preferred above the two new systems regarding price and handling. Cutable tube-segments display a low priced system but they are not applicable for impaired persons. Even in knowledge of the low price probands did not choose this applicator system. The one-way phials apply comfortable handling but they are not cost-efficient enough.
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