The traditional glaucoma treatment market for Americans suffering from glaucoma has been limited in the past, but Texas Medical Center doctors now have access to a new, minimally invasive treatment available only at the Houston Methodist Hospital. Glaucoma causes increased fluid pressure on the eye and cause blindness if it goes untreated. Traditional treatments include eye drops and surgery, which entails cutting a small hole in the eye to drain the fluid. (Texas Medical Center)
“The current glaucoma procedure permanently changes the anatomy of the eye. The Trabectome tool provides a minimally invasive option for treating glaucoma that works with the eye’s anatomy,” said Rahul Pandit, M.D., ophthalmologist at Houston Methodist Hospital. “Instead of continually trying to medically manage the fluid pressure, we decided to proceed with surgery to relieve the pressure on Barbara’s [a glaucoma patient] optic nerves and avoid any further eye damage.”
Nearly 50% of glaucoma patients in the United States go untreated, which means there is a large market available for new glaucoma treatment options. Because glaucoma is an adult disease, the number of patients who will need treatment will expand as the population ages. A Frost & Sullivan report forecasts that the market revenues will grow from what was $2.19 billion in 2010 to $2.25 billion in 2016 (Pharma Times).
Houston Methodist Hospital
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Glaucoma patients are in need of more pharmacotherapy options, including products with more effective treatment, improved drug delivery and more disease awareness through teaching patients about their condition. The report states that patients suffering from glaucoma need better therapies than those currently on the market.
One of the life science marketing opportunities available on the market includes a better alternative to eye drops, which are difficult for patients to self-administer. This causes patients problems because of the frequent doses required, the amount of drops wasted and the tendency of prescriptions to run out before patients are scheduled to receive a new one. Currently, the medication prostaglandin analog dominates the glaucoma treatment market with 59.8% of the total share. This is due to the medication's efficacy, tolerability and convenience.
"There is considerable need for more effective therapies that go beyond targeting intraocular pressure to preserve option nerve function, as well as for innovations in delivery to improve patient compliance and clinical outcomes," said Debbie Toscano, an industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. Surely the new treatment options at Houston Methodist Hospital will find a place in this expanding market.
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