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May 1992

Cost of β-Adrenergic Receptor Blocking Agents for Ocular Hypertension

Author Affiliations

From the LSU Eye Center, Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Medicine, New Orleans.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(5):654-657. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080170076027

• We compared the cost per drop and cost per year of therapy for five commercially available ocular β-blockers (Timoptic, Betagan, Betoptic, Betoptic S, and Optipranolol) based on retail prices in Philadelphia, Pa; New Orleans, La; and San Francisco, Calif. Variations in bottle volumes and drop size combined to yield up to a 48% differential in number of drops per bottle. Average retail price variations were 28% within brands (between pharmacies), 29% between brands, and 29% between regions. Yearly costs were consistently less with larger bottles. Factoring drops-per-bottle, cost of brand, and cost by pharmacy, the cost of a year's supply of β-blocker in 5-mL bottles in the least expensive region (New Orleans) ranged from $52.25 for Optipranolol to $278.91 for Betagan (534% of the price for Optipranolol). The marked differential in yearly cost among antiglaucoma medications should perhaps be a factor in the recommendations made by physicians and health-care providers.