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Behind the brand

Reducing the burden of cost

Marketing director for EMEA at Glaukos, Hugh Ross, tells OT  about early intervention in treating glaucoma and the need to be cost effective in social healthcare systems

19 Feb 2019 by Andrew McClean

Can you tell OT three interesting facts about the company?

  1. Glaukos founded micro-invasive glaucoma surgery in 2001
  2. We are the first public ophthalmic company dedicated solely to advancement of glaucoma care
  3. Glaukos has had over 100 peer reviewed published studies on iStent technologies to date

What makes the company’s products unique?

iStent inject is truly ‘micro’ invasive. It is the world’s smallest medical implant known to be implanted in the human body. Glaukos also had the first ab interno micro-bypass stent approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. iStent inject is the first available ab-interno, micro-bypass system designed to restore natural physiological outflow through two openings through the trabecular meshwork.

What new products are currently in development at Glaukos?

iDose, which is an intraocular implant designed to continuously elute therapeutic levels of medication, aims to reduce intraocular pressure. iDose is not currently commercially available and is in phase three of clinical trials.

How can optometrists improve patient care by talking about iStent inject as an alternative to drops?

iStent inject safely and effectively reduces intraocular pressure through the natural physiologic pathway. It is a potential solution for patients with compliance issues, or those who suffer intolerable side effects from eye drops. It can also reduce or eliminate the need for eye drops, at the discretion of an eye doctor.

What are the company’s main ambitions for the next 12 months?

Glaukos aims to expand the reach of iStent technologies in current and new markets globally.

The iStent
The iStent from Glaukos

What external factors is the company taking into account when planning for the future, and why?

Glaukos is thinking about the general need to intervene early in treating glaucoma. Ultimately, the goal is to slow down the progression of the disease and delay the need for more invasive treatments.

We are also considering the need to be cost effective in social healthcare systems. By offering a safe and effective treatment for mild to moderate glaucoma, iStent technologies have the potential to reduce future cost burden of patients who might require more invasive treatments that will likely require more intensive follow up and management, which cost the healthcare system money and time.

What are the current challenges facing optometry and ophthalmology?

Identifying glaucoma at an early stage, where the patient would benefit from an iStent technology implant. Open-angle glaucoma has no obvious symptoms in its early stage and often goes undiagnosed.

Additionally, establishing effective referral pathways for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate glaucoma to ensure they receive the best care possible for early intervention.

General awareness of trabecular micro bypass technologies in optometry and ophthalmology and how iStent or iStent inject can help reduce the need for more aggressive surgical options while preserving that option.

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