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There is some evidence that compliance and persistence are better with prostaglandins than with other drug classes
"2006 saw the approval of several new medications and the assessment of new diagnostic and surgical devices in the glaucoma sector. Some innovations had a positive impact on glaucoma therapy, some innovations were disappointing," says Thierry Zeyen, MD, PhD, Head of the Glaucoma Unit at the University Hospital Leuven, Belgium.
The combined way to easing pressure
"It is very exciting to see our armamentarium of medical therapy further expanding," enthuses Dr Zeyen. "Prostaglandin analogues, approved by the EMEA (Europe) and FDA (USA) as first-line therapy for the medical treatment of POAG, are increasingly used as first choice therapy. This is not surprising; they are the most powerful IOP lowering drugs in monotherapy and have an excellent safety profile. Additionally there is some evidence that compliance and persistence are better with prostaglandin analogues than with other drug classes," he says.
"All three of the new therapies approved this year are powerful fixed combinations and, together with Cosopt (dorzolamide/timolol; Merck) and Xalacom (latanoprost/timolol; Pfizer), they will probably replace unfixed combinations whenever bi- or tri-therapy is necessary," Dr Zeyen predicts. "Fixed combinations are more convenient, they may improve patient compliance, avoid wash-out effects, and limit lifetime exposure to additives and preservatives. Additionally and surprisingly fewer side effects are reported with fixed combinations than with the same drugs in concomitant therapy," he insists.