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Mary Gao, Margaret Wang, Gloria Wu, Bonnibel Bautista; Chemicals in Preservative Free Tears, Branded and Generic.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2687.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: How many and what chemical compounds are in preservative-free tears branded and generic?
We found the major brands, Alcon, Allergan, Bausch and Lomb and generics made by CVS and Walgreens, via an internet search, ranked by Google Trends. We evaluated the number of chemical components listed on the outside packaging. We excluded filter water in our evaluation.
Total of 13 products: Systane products (2), Refresh products (3), Genteal (1), CVS brand of "Systane Ultra" and "Systane" (2), CVS brand of "Refresh Optive" and "Refresh Plus" (2), Walgreens "Refresh Plus" (1), Walgreens "Systane Ultra", Bausch and Lomb Soothe . Range of number of compounds =6-11, avg=8.9, sd=1.75. The fewest compounds (6) were found in Soothe, made by Bausch and Lomb, next followed by Genteal (7) made by Alcon. The most components were found in the generic CVS version of “Systane” and Alcon’s Systane. Both had 11 similar additives, but the inactive compounds were not the same. Only 2 branded products had the fewest components, Soothe and Genteal. The rest of the preservative free products had similar numbers of active and inactive components. CVS had two copycat versions of the Systane and Refresh brands each vs one version each from Walgreens.
In terms of the pharmacology of the chemical compounds, both the branded and generic preservative-free tears are similar. For the patient, the ability to discern any differences among the artificial tears will be a challenge.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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