Glaucoma and dry eye in senior citizens are common and require daily eye drops.
Eye Drops For Seniors, Current Status
A study by University of Michigan researchers show that eye doctors prescribe more brand-name medications by volume, 75% of the time. In contrast, other medical specialities prescribe name brands only one third of the time.
In 2013, eye care providers generated $2.4 billion in annual Medicare Part D prescription costs.
Glaucoma medications made up half of prescription eye drugs at a cost of $1.2 billion.
Dry eye medications claimed the second highest billing, due to one drug, cyclosporine (Restasis), which has no generic equivalent. Restasis was the most-used eye medication among Medicare Part D beneficiaries, accounting for $371 million in spending.
Eye Drops Solutions
The researchers found that switching to lower-cost generics will save $882 million a year. Also, negotiating prices with drug makers will save an additional $1.09 billion a year. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that brand medications are superior to generics, which cost three to four times less.