American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting

American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting

November 16, 2013
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Glaucoma generics benefit patient, but beware ‘mail-order products,’ speaker says

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NEW ORLEANS – In the realm of glaucoma, although generic medications provide the patient the same reliable safety and efficacy as brands, with less cost, be cautious with mail-order products, a speaker here said.

“Latanoprost, for example, does have a number of generics, but not everything that is sold, particularly things through mail-order, is the generic version of latanoprost,” Wiley A. Chambers, MD, told attendees at Glaucoma Subspecialty Day preceding the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. “There are countries outside of the United States that make latanoprost products that are not approved in the United States.”

Wiley A. Chambers

Not all products sold this way have been approved for marketing in the U.S., and there is, therefore, concern about these products’ stability, he said.

“The lesson learned is be careful of mail-order generics. Generics are good for our patients,” Chambers said.

The low cost of these products may lead to greater availability and increased compliance, he said. In 2012, money spent on prescriptions decreased as 84% of all prescriptions were dispensed as generics.

“Generics help our overall resources,” Chambers continued. “There is a limited amount of ophthalmic resources, so if we make the best use of our dollars, we’ll spend them on the innovator brand products and try and minimize the costs by using generic products.”

Disclosure: Chambers has no relevant financial interests to disclose.