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New visions in ophthalmic drug development. Winter 2002

Over the last 10 years we have seen the introduction of several new ‘ophthalmology only’ pharmaceutical products emerge such as Trusopt (dorzolamide, Merck) and Xalatan (latanoprost, Pharmacia). Innovative products such as these have driven much of the ophthalmic pharmaceutical growth, outpacing the older products that were often developed for ophthalmology via other therapeutic areas.With the ophthalmic pharmaceutical sector currently at around $5 billion worldwide, the continued growth is likely to be driven by even more first-in-class entries in ophthalmology.Two areas that are especially poised for explosive growth are dry eye and retinal disease, in which many new therapeutic approaches are currently in development.