Rates of discontinuation and change of glaucoma therapy in a managed care setting

Am J Manag Care. 2002 Aug;8(10 Suppl):S262-70.


Background: Comparing discontinuation and change rates of glaucoma pharmacotherapies provides insight as to which agents perform more effectively.

Objective: To quantify the rates of discontinuation and change of different glaucoma therapies.

Methods: This retrospective, observational study using managed care administrative claims data included patients who were between 20 and 64 years of age and received at least 1 prescription for 1 of the following glaucoma agents as monotherapy: betaxolol, brimonidine, latanoprost, or timolol. Patients receiving any glaucoma medication during the 180 days prior to their index prescription were excluded, as were those who did not have continuous plan enrollment during this period. The primary outcome measures were the discontinuation and change (switching/adding on) of the index glaucoma medication. Rates of discontinuation and change were compared using a proportional hazard model.

Results: A total of 1006 patients comprised the final study population. Approximately 62% of patients discontinued their index glaucoma medication, and 18% of patients changed to a different therapy within 18 months of starting therapy. Among those discontinuing therapy, latanoprost patients remained on therapy the longest (mean: 217 days) compared to other study cohorts (range: 182 to 184 days). Compared with latanoprost, patients initiated on any of the other agents were more likely to discontinue or change therapy.

Conclusions: This study indicates that latanoprost therapy results in a lower rate of discontinuation or change compared to patients started on betaxolol, brimonidine, or timolol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • California
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Latanoprost
  • Male
  • Managed Care Programs*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / administration & dosage*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic / administration & dosage*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Prostaglandins F, Synthetic
  • Latanoprost