Merck gets FDA OK for glaucoma medication

Merck gets FDA approval of drug to treat glaucoma, ocular hypertension

Associated Press

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) -- Merck & Co. Inc. said Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its Zioptan solution for the treatment of certain kinds of glaucoma.

Zioptan will be used to reduce elevated intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma, while ocular hypertension is a condition that involves increased pressure inside the eye.

The FDA approval was based on results from five controlled clinical studies of up to two years in 905 patients that showed it to be effective in lowering intraocular pressure. The once-daily drug, also known as tafluprost ophthalmic solution, will be available to customers in March, Merck said.

In afternoon trading, Merck shares rose 17 cents to $38.08.

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