Determination of unmet needs and opportunities for evolution in the treatment of dry eye disease
Laura M Periman, MD: There are many and varied [unmet needs]. Answering this question will result in efficiencies for patient, physician and third-party payer. What are these? One is eye pain associated with dry eye. There are 2 phase 3 drugs in development that directly address this question in new ways. This has impacts on the whole biopsychosocial aspect of things, including less polypharmacy on psychoactive drugs. There is a ripple effect of getting it right.
There are in-office diagnoses. We will soon have an in-office platform that can do multi-array analysis of tear film inflammatory load. This will help us be very strategic in what we recommend, including a super smart steroid delivery system, like Eysuvis. It’s a brilliant innovation with minimal side effects. I love it. Does this mean we need to layer a second immunomodulator on top of the IPL [intense pulsed light]? This insight into what is happening from an inflammatory perspective will help guide care effectively and efficiently and lead to better patient outcomes. These things happen.
We need better diagnostics and therapeutics. We need targeted and specific therapies. We need the Demodex treatment drop to approve. We need to be able to determine which type of MGD [meibomian gland dysfunction] the patient has. Is it seborrheic dermatitis? Is it hyperkeratinization of the Meibomian glands? There is a drug in a phase 2b trial that is ending in Canada by Azura [Ophthalmics] it’s a keratinolytic for the plugs of those meibomian glands. It becomes a matter of patient selection. If the patient has a toothpaste-like plug, he will need this medication. It’s very effective, or at least it looks like it in their data so far. I have no personal experience with this.
There are many unmet needs. I told you there are about 30 circus animals in a big tent and the lights are off. We now have a candle and some of the identified animals. There are all these other animals running around. But it’s not something to be afraid of. It’s just something you know how to be an effective zookeeper for.
When we talk about innovations and landscape and what excites me the most, it focuses on things that are happening. All the tools we have are wonderful and effective in the right clinical situation. There are still problems with access to some of these drugs. This is frustrating for clinicians and patients. All members of the healthcare ecosystem have the opportunity to talk to each other more. I would like to see more opportunities like this – as an international expert in my field – to help third party leaders understand what it is and that when we ask for a certain drug it is not willy-nilly. There is a rhyme and a reason for it. Maybe we can work better together to create efficient, fast and efficient access for patients.
I am excited about innovations and collaboration. The future looks bright. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you. your questions are welcome. You can reach me at any time. The best way to reach me is on Instagram or LinkedIn. My LinkedIn is Laura M. Periman, MD, and my Instagram is @dryeyemaster. Send me a message there. Let’s continue the conversation. Let’s put our heads together. Let’s work together to help turn the tide.
Transcript edited for clarity.