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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2017, Article ID 7642049, 6 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7642049
Research Article

Changes in Glaucoma Medication during the Past Eight Years and Future Directions in Japan Based on an Insurance Medical Claim Database

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Yamanashi Faculty of Medicine, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Kenji Kashiwagi; pj.ca.ihsanamay@kijnek

Received 15 June 2017; Revised 18 August 2017; Accepted 10 September 2017; Published 31 October 2017

Academic Editor: Ciro Costagliola

Copyright © 2017 Masako Sakamoto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Purpose. To investigate changes in the status of glaucoma care between 2006 and 2013 and to predict future directions of glaucoma care in Japan. Subjects and Methods. Japanese subjects registered in the largest national insurance claim database in Japan from 2006 to 2013 were analyzed. Estimations of the number of glaucoma patients during the past eight years and of the number of future patients were calculated. Changes in prescription trends among the same patients in the three-year period after initiating antiglaucoma medication were also investigated. Results. There was a total of 3,016,000 subjects in the database. The proportion of glaucoma patients increased consistently from 2.5% in 2006 to 4.5% in 2013. This trend was predicted to continue until 2025, followed by a constant decrease with age. The most frequently prescribed antiglaucoma medications were prostaglandin analogues (PGs); however, in recent years, fixed combination therapy has emerged as a major treatment. Among 2856 newly diagnosed glaucoma patients; 94.7% of the patients initially received a single medication, but 25% of the patients received additional medications within 3 years. Conclusions. The prevalence of glaucoma patients has significantly increased during the past eight years. The number of antiglaucoma medications continuously increased during the treatment period.