Xiidra® in his Practice
Hear first-hand about how an early adopter treated some of his appropriate dry eye disease patients with Xiidra. In this blog, Dr. Jay K Mattheis shares his key steps to provide successful patient communication in his practice, and the importance of prior authorizations for prescription Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5%.
Dr. Jay K Mattheis, MD, MSPH, FACS
Dry eye disease expert and Novartis employee
Director, Peer Education-Ophthalmics at Novartis
Former Clinician and Director of the Comprehensive Eye Care and Dry Eye Center of Excellence at Wellish Vision Institute
Years ago, while reading an ophthalmology publication, lifitegrast was mentioned in a small article as a possible tool to treat dry eye disease (DED). After reading that article, I hoped it could be an effective tool to treat my patients in the future.
At that time, my office was the site of multiple clinical trials, and eventually we had the opportunity to become part of the phase 3 trial for lifitegrast. As a sub-investigator for this treatment, I appreciated being part of the investigative team for Xiidra. And after the data came out from the phase 3 trial, I was intrigued about what this could mean for my appropriate dry eye disease patients.
Setting patients up for symptom relief
Once it became approved for use in 2016, I prescribed Xiidra for many of my appropriate patients with dry eye disease and gained a lot of clinical experience.
During patient consults in which Xiidra was prescribed, I found that it was helpful to set patient expectations by explaining they may find symptom relief in as early as 2 weeks and making them aware of possible side effects, such as instillation-site irritation, dysgeusia, and reduced visual acuity.1 Then I would request to see the patient back in 6 weeks for a follow-up visit when we could talk about their experiences on Xiidra and I could answer any questions they might have. Using this strategy, some of my patients were indeed finding relief from their signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.2 Together, my patients and I celebrated their progress.
Access to Xiidra
Those early successes for individual patients provided me with the fortitude to seek a prior authorization for patients whose insurance plan required it. We know our patients may not be able to do that for themselves. I truly believe that “because my patients have a need, I have a duty”—so when my patients need a treatment, like Xiidra, I want to make it happen, no matter the complexity of completing prior authorizations!
Many of our patients were so grateful to have a dry eye treatment that helped them find relief. And I find it’s not only a duty, but an honor, to help offer my patients relief from DED.
Xiidra may provide lasting symptom relief in as early as 2 weeks*
Xiidra reduced symptoms of eye dryness (based on EDS) at 2 weeks in 2 out of 4 studies, with improvements observed at 6 and 12 weeks in all 4 clinical studies.1
*The safety and efficacy of Xiidra were assessed in four 12-week, randomized, multicenter, double-masked, vehicle-controlled studies (N=2133). Patients were dosed twice daily. The mean age was 59 years (range, 19-97 years). The majority of patients were female (76%). Use of artificial tears was not allowed during the studies. The study end points included assessment of signs (based on Inferior fluorescein Corneal Staining Score [ICSS] on a scale of 0 to 4) and symptoms (based on patient-reported Eye Dryness Score [EDS] on a visual analogue scale of 0 to 100). Effects on symptoms of dry eye disease: a larger reduction in EDS favoring Xiidra was observed in all studies at day 42 and day 84. Xiidra reduced symptoms of eye dryness at 2 weeks (based on EDS) compared to vehicle in 2 out of 4 clinical trials. Effects on signs of dry eye disease: at day 84, a larger reduction in ICSS favoring Xiidra was observed in 3 out of the 4 studies.1