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Trajectory of Demodex Blepharitis Treatment Pathways


Douglas K. Devries, OD, shares his final insights, highlighting prospective emerging treatments for Demodex blepharitis.

Douglas K. Devries, OD: As we stand today, there are some treatments on the horizon for Demodex blepharitis. In some of the clinical studies of the drug being developed by Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, [Inc], we see a tremendous efficacy. When you have an efficacious treatment, that will spawn more disease state awareness, more screening, more direct observation, and therefore more treatment of the symptoms and signs of the Demodex, which is causing more inflammation and exacerbating that patient’s dry eye condition. As we see the development and commercialization of an effective agent that can be used, we’re going to have much more identification of the disease state and many more treatments [for] clinicians. The important aspect will be that it’s efficacious. Doctors are willing to treat patients when they see efficacy.

Demodex blepharitis has been understudied, and as a result, undertreated. It’s because there’s something going on with a patient that hasn’t been addressed, so we’ve been on a path of actually treating the inflammation as a result of the Demodex as part and parcel of treating dry eye disease. The big Achilles’ heel is that we haven’t had an effective treatment or standard guidelines, and therefore it’s been a condition that people don’t identify and don’t readily have as part of their screening for patients. Our doctors aren’t looking for that because of not having treatment guidelines or an effective product.

As we see things commercialized and we have efficacy in treatment, there will be a greater amount of research, and we’ll know things like the economic burden of Demodex. We’ll know what happens on a daily basis for a patient when you clear that up and take care of that Demodex. My feeling is that when you treat something like this and you give some efficacy to the patient, they’re going to be far more productive. They’re going to be a happy patient group at that point. But a lack of screening and guidelines is why we haven’t treated at this point. With things on the horizon and a new medication that could be commercialized, we’re going to have a lot more awareness and a lot more talk from the podium. We’re all going to learn about this in publications and from the podium as we get consensus guidelines through practitioners who have embraced it, and start treating it.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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