The manufacturer of bimatoprost (Lumigan®) has discontinued the 0.3mg/ml or 0.03% strength of this product in dropped bottles, the 0.01% product and the unit dose version are not affected and remain available.
According to an Assessment Report at the European Medicines agency the lower strength product is a direct equivalent. The report states, "Compared with the current authorised strength which contains 0.3 mg/ml bimatoprost and 50 ppm benzalkonium chloride, the new strength contains a third of the concentration of bimatoprost (0.1 mg/ml) and 200 ppm benzalkonium chloride. The higher concentration of benzalkonium chloride increases the ocular absorption of bimatoprost thus allowing for a lower concentration of bimatoprost to be administered (0.1 mg/ml). This new formulation, with a reduced concentration of bimatoprost, achieves comparable IOP-lowering efficacy to the current authorised strength and an improved overall safety profile.
There is a cost difference between the two strengths with the 0.03% strength currently priced at £10.30 for 3ml and the 0.01% strength currently more expensive at £11.71 for 3ml.
Action: Clinicians should be aware of this product being discontinued. It may be prudent to run clinical system searches to identify any patients who are currently prescribed this product to allow a review and an alternative to be arranged.
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