As new glaucoma
treatments arise, including minimally invasive glaucoma
surgeries and new classes of glaucoma
medications, it is important to examine the prescription trends of current topical glaucoma
medications and how they may change.
To determine the prescribing trends of topical glaucoma
medications in Australia from 2001 to 2017.
Methods and Analysis:
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) item numbers were used to determine glaucoma
medication prescribing rates from 2001 to 2017. All data were adjusted for population (/100,000) as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population data.
Overall prescription rates for glaucoma
medications ranged between 67,904 and 86,936 per 100,000 from 2001 to 2017. An upward trend was noted from 2001 to 2015, with the exception of a notable decline in 2013 by 14.7%, before then increasing by 13.7% in 2014. After 2015, prescribing rates were seen to decrease over the subsequent years in the study period. Latanoprost remained the most prescribed medication and prostaglandin
the most prescribed class. Prescribing rates of single-agent beta-blockers were noted to decrease during the 17-year period, particularly with the introduction of combination agents, which note an upward trend. Brinzolamide/brimonidine has increased by 50.0% from 2016 to 2017.
Total rates of prescriptions have remained relatively stable from 2001 to 2017. The number of medications prescribed when considering combination agents separately was seen to be increasing from 2001 to 2015. From 2015 to 2017, a downward trend was noted in the number of medications prescribed. Prostaglandins remain the most prescribed class throughout the study period.