My 'Easy Button' for Post-Op Cataract Care
By Gary Wörtz, MD
Gary Wörtz, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist at Commonwealth Eye Surgery in Lexington, KY and an associate professor of ophthalmology at his alma mater University of Kentucky, specializes in cataract and refractive surgery.
Four years ago, I saw a potential better solution on the horizon for my cataract and LASIK patients. Given the staff time, energy, costs to my patients and generalized frustrations involved in getting patients their prescription post-operative eye drops, I was primed to make a change. 10,000 surgeries later, I can personally attest that this has become my “easy button” for cataract and LASIK post-op care.
Ever since, compounded eye drops have been a godsend for the practice and for our patients. We’ve experienced no problems – no uptick in infection, no extended therapy, no inflammatory complications. Plus, my staff and patients love the convenience of having the steroid, antibiotic and NSAID in a single bottle.
Be assured, I remain an advocate of branded drugs, but compounded formulations have solved innumerable eyecare challenges, primarily eliminating layers of complexity, such as:
The inconvenience of switching prescriptions. Even with a brand-specific prescription, there was a chance that one of three prescribed drops – a steroid, a fluoroquinolone and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory – was going to be swapped for a generic along the way.
The hassle of dealing with insurance companies. We perform thousands of surgeries a year. Before turning to compounding, multiple phone calls to insurance companies were required for each surgery. Having full-time employees constantly battling on the phone with insurance companies was a time-wasting exercise.
The expense of brand-name drugs. With patients sometimes paying upwards of $300 for one of their drops, the financial burden for our patients was an ongoing issue.
Ease of use. Patients are often not very adroit at putting in drops, especially if they are on a tapering schedule. Many of my cataract patients, using traditional prescriptions, wound up having something negative happen with their drops in terms of compliance or the expense. Before switching to compounded formulations, this was one of the biggest problems I had as a private practice ophthalmologist. It was a chronic thorn in my side.
Nowadays, we prescribe Prednisolone, Gatifloxacin and Bromfenac (OMNI by OSRX®) compounded formulations for our cataract patients, which work beautifully. We generally dose it four times a day for two weeks, then two times a day for two weeks…and then stop. An added benefit is we know each patient is receiving in each bottle precisely what they need. Plus, OMNI formulations from OSRX® are also generally less expensive for patients than branded drugs.
We tell our patients, “We’ve selected this bottle instead of three different drops. It’s got exactly the medicine in it that we want for you. And you don’t even have to go to the drugstore. You get it right here in our office or you mail order it directly to your home.”
As a physician, I know these combination drops are invaluable. Using science, clinical judgment, and expertise, I turn to PCAB-accredited compounding pharmacies like OSRX. Their products are easy to use for my patients, their pharmacists and customer service reps are responsive and a pleasure to work with and, most importantly, I know their formulations are the highest quality.
Compounded medications are generally not reviewed by the FDA for safety or efficacy. OSRX does not compound copies of commercially available products. References available upon request.
Professional Disclosure: Dr. Wörtz is on the Medical Advisory Board for Ocular Science® (an OSRX affiliate) and has financial interest in the company.