Patients prefer dropper bottles for eye drops

June 6, 2014

Dropper bottles are the delivery vehicle of choice of patients using autologous serum eye drops daily for severe ocular surface disorders, according to a newly published study.

Dropper bottles are the delivery vehicle of choice of patients using autologous serum eye drops daily for severe ocular surface disorders, according to a newly published study in Current Eye Research. Patients prefer the bottles, found the Duesseldorf, Germany, investigators, because they are easy to open and use, yield more of the desired medication, and are more economical.

New-day dosage vials known as Meise vials are also perceived as offering more of these benefits than do single-dose tube systems called Maco tubes, they found.

In the study, 10 non-impaired volunteers and 10 patients who had visual or manual impairment tested medication applicators filled with 1.5 mL of sterile isotonic saline solution. Study participants used a scale of 1.0 (very good) to 6.0 (very bad) to rate the convenience of opening the containers and of administering the eye drops.

Regarding convenience in opening the containers, the median was 2.0 for the Meise vials and the dropper bottles and 5.0 for the Maco tubes. For eye drop application, the median was 1.0 for the Meise vials, 2.0 for the dropper bottles and 4.0 for the Maco tubes.

The number of retrievable drops also was counted. The median number of drops retrieved was 30.5 for the Meise vials, 30 from the dropper bottles and 2 from the tubes.

Participants also were asked which delivery system they preferred, first without knowing their prices and then knowing their prices. When they believed that the delivery vehicles cost the same or a similar amount, 16 participants said they preferred the Meise vials, and 14 picked the dropper bottles. Nobody selected the tubes. When participants were aware of the pricing differences, however, they changed their preferences: 20 participants chose the dropper bottles, and 5 said they preferred the other containers.

Non-impaired and impaired study participants ranked the containers the same.

To read an abstract of the study, click here