POAG and the statin connection.

A team of researchers analyzed data from two previous studies: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. These were two studies initially started back in the late 70's that sent questionnaires to nurses and other healthcare providers asking about diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and glaucoma. They looked specifically at 886 of these patients that were diagnosed with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and asked the question, are elevated cholesterol levels and statin use associated with risk of primary open-angle glaucoma?

What did they find?

There are two theories:
1. Statins may offer some IOP lowering by working on enzymes within the trabecular meshwork.
2. Statins have neuroprotective effects (i.e. anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory) that may protect retinal ganglion cells.

Should we start prescribing statins?

Not yet. The authors acknowledge some limitations in their study (i.e mostly a white population and it was based on patient recall etc.) and that there needs to be a randomized clinical trial to better prove the link. (via)

Legislative Update.

Oklahoma and Walmart are becoming friendly. Historically, optometrists could not rent space within retail stores like Walmart and Target but a new bill is working on changing that. (via)


If I have wet AMD in one eye, how likely am I to get it in the other eye?

A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology performed a secondary analysis of the HARBOR trial to try and better answer this question.

Remind me, what was the HARBOR trial?

It was a clinical trial that evaluated the efficacy and safety of Lucentis in over 1000 patients with wet AMD.

OK, tell me about the new study.

The authors included 686 fellow eyes with dry AMD at baseline. They analyzed the OCT images, genetic testing, and demographic information.

What did they find?

Over the course of the 2 year study, 22.4% converted to wet AMD. The three main predictors to conversion were:
1. Drusen area/volume within 3 mm of the fovea.
2. The amount of drusen reflectivity.
3. One specific genetic variant (rs61941274, ACAD10 locus).
In addition to these three, being female and of older age were also significant risks for conversion. (via)


Should I say goodbye to my Takeda rep?

Novartis is buying the rights to Xiidra. If you're having trouble keeping up, Shire initially marketed Xiidra, then Takeda bought Shire, now Novartis wants to buy it from Takeda. (via)

Met Gala fashion.

There were many crazy outfits but the the dress with the blinking eye was a huge hit.

Want to cut a year out of optometry school?

Salus has an accelerated three-year program. Defocus Media spoke with a student in the program here.

An attempt for transparency.

If a medication is going to cost more than $35 for a one month supply, drug companies now need to include the price in their TV ad. (via)