Researchers are still uncertain about the pros and cons of prescribing a generic prostaglandin analog in lieu of a branded version, even after recent meta-analysis shows similar efficacy and tolerability. Trials comparing the two types have yet to show a clinically significant difference in intraocular pressure–lowering effect or tolerability.

After screening 385 articles, the researchers included six in the meta-analysis. The duration of the studies ranged from three to 16 weeks, with a total of 619 patients enrolled. The researchers focused on intraocular pressure reduction from baseline and also noted tolerability, ocular surface health, quality of life, disease progression and cost-effectiveness.

The meta-analysis of all six studies found no clinically significant difference in efficacy, although the evidence was of moderate certainty due to unclear or high risk of bias in each of the studies.

The researchers also found no reported differences in tolerability. They believe further research is needed to confirm equivalence.

Steensberg AT, Müllertz OO, Virgili G, et al. Evaluation of generic versus original prostaglandin analogues in the treatment of glaucoma: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmol Glaucoma. November 1, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].