Background. Prior research has demonstrated that medication persistence (continued acquisition of therapy over time) is far from optimal among patients with glaucoma. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate persistence with prostaglandin analogs among glaucoma patients in the first therapy year using a modification of a previously published technique. Methods. This retrospective analysis of medical and pharmacy claims database included treatment-naive patients dispensed bimatoprost, latanoprost, or travoprost between 1/1/04-12/31/04. "Index agent" was defined as the first agent filled; "index date" was defined as the fill date. Follow-up continued for 358 days. Persistence measures for first therapy year were: (1) whether last fill had sufficient days supply to achieve medication possession at year's end, and (2) number of days for which the index agent was available (days covered). Associations between index agent and medication possession (logistic regression) and days covered (linear regression) were evaluated. Models were adjusted for gender, age, and previous ocular hypertension diagnosis. Results. 7873 patients met inclusion criteria (bimatoprost, n = 1464; latanoprost, n = 4994; travoprost, n = 1415). Medication possession was 28% and days covered was 131 when using the unadjusted (pharmacy-reported) days supply estimates and rose to 47-48% and days covered to 228-236 days when days supply was imputed. Compared to latanoprost, odds of achieving medication possession at first year's end were 26-34% lower for bimatoprost and 34-36% lower for travoprost (p 0.001 for all comparisons). Days covered in the first year were 21-29 days lower for bimatoprost and 33-42 days lower for travoprost (p 0.001 for all comparisons). Failure to refill the index agent within the initial 90 days was a strong predictor of poor persistence. Conclusions. Persistence with ocular prostaglandin therapy remains a problem. Latanoprost users had greater odds of achieving medication possession and had more days covered during the first therapy year.
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