Purpose: This study evaluated Japanese patients' adherence to first-line therapy and physicians' compliance with the guidelines (GLs) for glaucoma in daily practice. Methods: This retrospective, noninterventional cohort study used a Japanese health care/pharmacy claims database from 2011 to 2016. We compared adherence based on the primary outcomes assessed as proportion of days covered (PDC) and persistence between patients who received first-line monotherapy followed by second-line fixed-combination therapy (GL-compliant cohort) and those who received first-line fixed-combination therapy (GL-noncompliant cohort). Furthermore, we explored treatment patterns, glaucoma consultation, and key factors associated with GL noncompliance. Results: Among 11,666 patients who received first-line therapy, 1,183 (10.1%) and 542 (4.6%) were in the GL-compliant and GL-noncompliant cohorts, respectively. Prostaglandin (70.7%) and subsequent prostaglandin/β blocker (BB) (20.9%) within 12 months were most used by the GL-compliant cohort. Prostaglandin/BB (48.9%) and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor/BB (51.1%) were prescribed for the GL-noncompliant cohort. The mean PDC [standard deviation (SD)], persistence rate (95% confidence interval), and consultation (SD) over 12 months were 60.9% (34.0), 16.0% (14.0-18.1), and 5.23 (3.21) times, respectively, in the GL-compliant cohort and 59.7% (35.8), 22.0% (18.6-25.5), and 4.76 (3.19) times, respectively, in the GL-noncompliant cohort. No significant differences were observed between the 2 cohorts. No clinically relevant factor associated with GL noncompliance was found. Conclusions: Around 5% of patients were prescribed a fixed-combination eye drop as first-line therapy not in accordance with GLs. The similarity of adherence and persistence between the 2 cohorts indicates that first-line fixed-combination therapy could be considered for glaucoma treatment.
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