The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Abstract: A plug for Restasis (so to speak)

The April issue of American Journal of Managed Care had a supplement on dry eye, including a few abstracts I'll share here.

This one says (among other things) that (a) Restasis on its own is cheaper than plugs on their own and (b) Fewer people go on to plugs after Restasis than go on to Restasis after plugs, therefore, (c) Adeste fideles, prescribamus Restasis.

Notwithstanding which, I'll pit my rice baggy, Dwelle and a Tranquileyes goggle against either or both of those therapies in a random selection of people with moderate to severe symptoms any day of the week. Oh for a few research dollars.

Utilization characteristics of topical cycolsporine and punctal plugs in a managed care database.
Fiscella RG, Lee JT, Walt JG, Killian TD.
Am J Manag Care. 2008 Apr;14(3 Suppl):S107-12

A retrospective administrative claims analysis of treatment options for dry eye disease (DED) evaluated treatment patterns and utilization characteristics of patients receiving cyclosporine, punctal plugs, or a combination of cyclosporine and punctal plugs, and examined differences in health plan costs with the 2 treatments. A total of 23,821 commercial health plan enrollees that initiated treatment with cyclosporine or punctal plugs between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2005, were reviewed. There were 9065 subjects in the cyclosporine group, with a mean of 3.93 (median of 3) prescription fills reported in the 365-day follow-up period per subject. The mean health plan cost per patient was $336 (median $228), with total health plan costs of $3.05 million. In the punctal plugs cohort of 8758 subjects, there was a mean of 2.85 punctal plugs procedures per patient in the follow-up period. Total health plan costs for punctal plugs procedures were $3.28 million (mean cost per patient $375). During the follow-up period, 21.1% of punctal plugs patients subsequently received cyclosporine, whereas only 11.4% of topical cyclosporine patients subsequently received punctal plugs. Our results suggest that use of topical cyclosporine before punctal plugs insertion may be of benefit to patients with DED and could result in a savings in overall treatment costs.

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