Rates of glaucoma medication utilization among older adults with suspected glaucoma, 1992 to 2002.
PURPOSE: To determine rates of glaucoma medication utilization among glaucoma suspects in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) and identify recent utilization patterns for various hypotensive drug classes. DESIGN: Cohort study. METHODS: By using MCBS data between 1992 and 2002 merged with Medicare claims data, utilization rates for glaucoma medication classes were calculated for survey participants >/=65 years with suspected glaucoma. Utilization trends over the 11-year period were identified. RESULTS: Each year, more than 85% of glaucoma suspects used no hypotensive medications. Between 1992 and 2002, utilization rates decreased substantially for beta-blockers and miotics and increased for alpha-agonists, combination beta-blockers-carbonic-anhydrase inhibitors, and prostaglandin analogues. CONCLUSION: This study identifies recent changes in patterns of glaucoma suspects' use of hypotensive medications by using patient-reported information, thus avoiding reliance on third-party databases. Such trends over time are important to recognize, because they reflect variations in patient care and have economic and clinical implications.
Stein, JD; Sloan, FA; Lee, PP
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