Survey reveals needs of glaucoma patients across Europe

London, England [25 June, 2002] - The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) today urged eye specialists around Europe to re-think the way they assess the needs of glaucoma patients in order to improve the long-term management of the disease and help preserve the sight of hundreds of thousands of patients. The IGA recommendations were based on the results of a recent survey of 243 glaucoma patients using multiple medications and 250 physicians from France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The survey found a significant number of glaucoma patients experienced difficulties when taking multiple medications, indicating a need for better education about the disease and its treatment options.

Nearly a third of surveyed patients on multiple glaucoma therapies reported challenges with the use of their multi-therapies. These challenges included missing scheduled dosing (33 percent missed taking medication within past 30 days) and not waiting a sufficient amount of time between applications of different medicines, both of which can adversely affect the effectiveness of the medicines and potentially impact clinical outcomes.

Physicians typically advise patients to wait 5 to 10 minutes between administrations of different eye drops to ensure that the first medication has sufficient time to be absorbed before the second medication is applied. The survey found that 17 percent of patients applying multiple medications wait two minutes or less between doses.

"The survey very clearly shows that many glaucoma patients are not fully compliant with their eye drop medicines, and that concerns those of us committed to preserving the vision of glaucoma patients," commented David Wright, Chief Executive of the International Glaucoma Association. "The results speak to the need for more education of the patients by the medical community and patient groups such as IGA. Effective fixed combination medications would also enhance convenience, particularly for patients w

Contact: Roseann Ward

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