FRIDAY, Aug. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Ophthalmologists and optometrists who receive even small transfers of value (TOV) from prostaglandin analog (PGA) manufacturers may be more likely to prescribe brand-name PGA eye drops, according to a study published online July 28 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Andrew M. Nguyen, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the association between PGA eye drop prescribing and reported nonresearch TOV by makers of branded PGAs in a retrospective cohort analysis. Optometrists and ophthalmologists who had more than 10 claims for PGA drops in a 20 percent nationally representative sample of 2018 Medicare Part D claims were analyzed.

Overall, 20,612 ophthalmologists and 5,426 optometrists prescribed PGA eye drops. The researchers found that 37 percent of these were reported to have received TOV from manufacturers of branded PGAs in 2018, totaling $5,060,346, with a median reported TOV of $65. The predicted probability of primarily prescribing branded PGAs was 12.9 percent among prescribers who reported receiving no TOV and 19.6 percent among prescribers who received TOV. A dose-response association was observed, such that the probability of preferential branded use was 29.2 percent for the top 10 percent of TOV recipients.

“While some vision care professionals may say that small payments will not influence their prescribing behavior, these data suggest otherwise,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the health care industry, and a second disclosed ties to Arnold Ventures.

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